blue knots
Credit: Shutterstock

Interoperability is the ability to access and process data from multiple sources without losing meaning and then integrate that data for mapping, visualization, and other forms of representation and analysis. Interoperability enables people to find, explore, and understand the structure and content of data sets. In essence, it is the ability to ‘join-up’ data from different sources to help create more holistic and contextual information for simpler, and sometimes automated analysis, better decision-making, and accountability purposes. 

An outcome of the UN World Data Forum in January 2017, the collaborative on interoperability is co-convened by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and the UN Statistics Division. The collaborative launched Interoperability: A practitioner’s guide to joining-up data in the development sector, which brings together good practice examples from across the development sector highlighting the value that interoperable data brings to decision-making. The production of the guide was supported by an Advisory Group drawn from the collaborative’s membership and includes:

  1. Enrique Ordaz, Director General of Integration, Analysis and Research at INEGI, Mexico & Co-Chair of the IAEG-SDGs
  2. Radhika Lal, Economic Advisor, UNDP, Ghana
  3. Joshua Powell, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Development Gateway
  4. Bill Anderson, Data Architect & Beata Lisowska, Data Scientist, Development Initiatives
  5. Shaida Badiee, Managing Director and Co-Founder & Eric Swanson, Director of Research, Open Data Watch
  6. Rose Aiko, (former) Data Ecosystems Consultant, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

The first version of the Guide launched at the UN World Data Forum in Dubai in October 2018.


Contributing Partners

DataReady Logo. Use data confidently.
Private sector
DataReady helps you understand, manage and responsibly apply data for social good.
Open Data Watch
Non-governmental organization
Open Data Watch is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization that works at the junction of open data and official statistics, monitoring open data policies, measuring their success and impact, sharing knowledge, building partnerships, and offering strategic advice and practical assistance to national governments, international organizations, and other NGOs.
Development Gateway - Solutions that empower
Non-governmental organization
Development Gateway works to ensure governments, organizations, and citizens can access, understand, and apply data to achieve sustainable development outcomes.
Development Initiatives Logo
Non-governmental organization
Development Initiatives (DI) is an independent international development organization that focuses on the role of data in driving poverty eradication and sustainable development.
UNDP - United Nations Development Programme Logo
Multilateral organization
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion.

This Initiative Works to Achieve These SDGs