Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Statistics • COVID-19 response

Launch of the UN COVID-19 Data Hub


This article is also available in Russian.

National governments across the globe and the global development community are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with unprecedented measures. Though capacities in fighting the outbreak across nations vary significantly, all countries need to rely heavily on the availability of geographically disaggregated data in key thematic areas and for various groups of the population. As an immediate first step in addressing these data needs, the Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs has identified four thematic areas, namely: (1) virus tracking, (2) population, (3) health infrastructure and (4) economy. These data sets will help in mapping the spread of the disease, understanding trends, identifying vulnerable population groups, as well as measuring the economic impact of the pandemic. Ultimately, the aim is to provide access to trustworthy information and to help communicate clear messages so decision makers can address the outbreak effectively and efficiently.

The new COVID-19 Data Hub is the result of a partnership effort between the Statistics Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and Esri, with the following key objectives:

  • To provide countries access to software and tools that will enable them to be part of a federated network of COVID-19 data hubs.
  • To empower countries through the use of web GIS technologies for sharing available data resources and web services in an open and interoperable environment, linking to a federated network of national and global COVID-19 data hubs.
  • To help national statistical offices get quickly up to speed in building their own COVID-19 open data sites, with ready-to-use templates that allow them to focus on responding to the urgent demand for data and insights from their constituencies.

Our technology partner Esri has announced a COVID-19 Response Package for Ministries of Health and Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) partners that will be now made available to National Statistical Offices for using Esri’s geospatial platform and tools.

The Covid-19 Data Hub is part of a larger effort carried by the UN Statistics Division in collaboration with the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) and Open Data Watch (ODW), that launched a COVID-19 response website to provide guidance and tools and share best practices to ensure the operational continuity of data programmes by National Statistical Offices, and to address issues of open and timely access to critical data to respond to the global COVID-19 crisis.