University of Washington

A data visualization platform that tracks countries' progress on meaningful access to information

8-Jul-2020 6:35 PM EDT, by University of Washington

Newswise — The Technology & Social Change Group at the University of Washington Information School has released the Development and Access to Information (DA2i) Dashboards, a data visualization platform that tracks the progress of countries and regions on key indicators related to three dimensions of meaningful access to information: Connectivity, Freedom and Gender Equity. 

The dashboards will be a useful tool for researchers, social organizations, policy-makers, public libraries, activists and communities, allowing them to explore connectivity, freedom and gender equity trends at the country-level. They reflect our commitment to make knowledge more democratic and science more open and accessible to everyone.

Combining public data from different authoritative sources, including ITU, UNESCO, ILO and Freedom House into a carefully curated single database, the DA2i dashboards feature historical trends for twenty selected indicators. They offer visual displays, a comparison with regional averages and additional context to better understand how each indicator relates to meaningful access to information.The dashboards are also an important tool for identifying data gaps in some of the most critical indicators of social development.

To facilitate analysis and comparison, each indicator is organized by year, UN regional categorization, income level and standardized country names following the World Bank country classification. The dashboards bring this database to life and make it analytically more useful and accessible to broader audiences with different levels of data literacy skills.

Explore the dashboards for country trends, use the graphs and tables in reports, presentations, policy briefs or grant applications, or download the database to identify themes that merit further analysis and can pave the way for much needed future research. 

The database feeding the platform was first created and curated in 2016, as a core pillar of the Development and Access to Information (DA2i) report series, produced by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions in partnership with TASCHA. The report, issued once every two years, includes a TASCHA-led chapter based on analysis of this database that tracks governments’ progress towards fulfilling their commitments to promote meaningful access to information, as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The dashboards’ platform was built using Dash and Plotly, an open source Python library, and the code, technical notes, and full database (except for three ITU indicators that are proprietary) are publicly available on GitHUB

TASCHA would like to thank the team that brought this project into fruition: Daniel Rekshan, Manisha Vyas, Lucas Koepke, Bree Norlander, Chris Rothschild, Araba Sey and Chris Jowaisas. The research was supported by a TASCHA Innovation Award, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For any additional information and feedback, please contact the project lead Maria Garrido at or visit the Dashboards FAQs page.

More details and FAQs found on TASCHA's page here

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