UNDP launches new COVID-19 Data Futures Platform

New York:The UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched today a new COVID-19 Data Futures Platform – an open access and interactive platform that aggregates multiple sources of information across UNDP and UN agencies, academia, and the private sector. The platform offers simulation option that allows any user to visualize costs, impact of socio-economic policies and interventions across countries and regions; and welfare implications of targeting vulnerable households.

The Data Futures Platform comes at a time when countries around the world are dealing with the consequences of multiple waves of the pandemic, a protracted economic recession, and rapidly shrinking foreign and domestic financial resources. In addition, the current trend of plummeting income support measures for individuals and households worldwide has exacerbated the vulnerability of groups dependent on social protection programmes and support measures for subsistence.

“The choices that we make today will define what happens next. So, the pivotal decisions that countries across the globe are now taking must be underpinned by reliable data — by a clear picture of how COVID-19 is rapidly changing the development landscape around the world,” says UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner. “Integrating data, analysis, visualizations, expert insights as well as interactive tools, this instructive platform will help to power evidence-based decision-making at this vital moment.”

A range of functionalities helps the user to go beyond data to track indicators and capture meaningful insights that help build forward from COVID-19 and answer strategic development questions. Currently, the platform provides three main avenues for policies: socio-economic analysis and cost of temporary basic incomes, gender informed recovery, and green fiscal recovery packages analysis. For example, users can discover what a temporary basic income would potentially cost in their countries through the simulator; assess COVID impacts on education and the climate ambition, or delve deeper into visualizations of long-term impacts on the SDGs.

The simulations can also help address inequality and gender gaps by visualizing the impact of policy options to address wage gaps, family planning, education and what it means if the government makes bold choices of combining these policy choices.

Beyond the socio-economic analysis of COVID-19, the platform will support developing country governments to navigate their inclusive and green recovery policy choices and subsequent priority investments, powered by renewable energy rather than fossil fuels, to avoid a collision with nature and decelerate the devastating effects of climate change.

Prior to COVID-19 pandemic, already approximately four billion people did not have any form of safety net that could protect against vulnerability, risk or deprivation. COVID-19 risks pushing the total number of people living in extreme poverty to over 1 billion by 2030.

The data platform provides information on people’s ability to cope and recover from the crisis, monitors long-term people-centered actions. This newly launched platform maps the population and groups to show varied impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups, and helps monitor immediate actions, including pre-existing, adapted, scaled up, and new social protection measures.

So far, UNDP and UN partners have prepared 128 Socio-Economic Impact Assessments (SEIAs) across 93 countries and five regions, often jointly with the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), European Union, and other partners, including rapid and in-depth assessments of affected economic sectors and population groups, as the situation continues to evolve. Practitioners and governments can interact with the data from these assessments on the data platform to understand the impact of COVID-19 on households and businesses.