Open Data. Smart Cities.

OpenCities Institute is an institutional platform of open data that eases the analysis of wealth of information for the planning, monitoring and evaluation of urban development programmes and policies towards smart, sustainable, inclusive and prosperous cities.


OpenCities Institute is an initiative of the Community Systems Foundation (CSF), a not-for-profit corporation registered in the USA in 1963 with experience in applied research and technical assistance to communities and governmental agencies. Over the past five decades, CSF has contributed to innovations in management information systems, geographic information systems, technical support services, social welfare programme design, scientific research and evaluation methodologies, institution building and management training.

CSF has a successful record of five decades of working with many UN agencies, including UNDP, UNOPS, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UN-Habitat, UN Statistics Division, WFP, WHO and The World Bank. The organization has carried out projects in more than 120 countries.


To assist urban development initiatives to achieve better outcomes and sustainable processes through innovations in evidence-based planning and monitoring that result in a holistic approach to well-being and contentment.


Deliver results through an innovative approach

To deliver results through an innovative approach to achieve sustainability and prosperity that is holistic in scope and integrated with all aspects of promoting well-being and fulfillment for all within the urban context.

Assist authorities in urban development planning

To assist national and local authorities in urban development planning that leads to measurable results for cities: economically, socially, politically and environmentally.

Catalyze policies and actions, at national and city levels

To catalyze policies and actions, at national and city levels, towards a path of sustainability and prosperity and to establish the necessary milestones to measure present and future progress.

Help leverage large investments in urban development initiatives

To leverage the large investments in urban development initiatives to achieve better outcomes and processes through innovations in evidence-based planning and monitoring.


The institute is a center of excellence in providing technical assistance to urban development professionals in the application of innovative approaches to support the design and implementation of informed urban development policies.



The institute provides services in the development and use of indicators and indices to monitor urban development. Advanced database technology is provided to capture, manage, analyze and disseminate key performance indicators. Capacity development and training programmes are provided to help city planners leverage innovative technology to achieve better urban development programmes outcomes and reach sustainable processes.


The institute offers its capabilities and services  with  bespoke applications and products like dashboards, monitoring, profiles, profile launchers, open source learning, exchange applications and DevInfo technology that can easily enable complex data sets to be presented in a standard, focused format, thereby making large volumes of data easier to understand, interpret and action.


Open City Data

UN-Habitat has developed a unique position supporting urban development and the planning and building of a better urban future for next generations. This key process supports economic growth and social development, and reduces poverty and inequalities.

Risk Informed Development Planning

Multi Hazard Vulnerability Mapping (MHVM) is a tool for generating multi-hazard solutions. The MHVM indexing method was developed measuring relative vulnerability of districts with regard to natural disasters and their impact on specific aspects of human life such as health, education, access to water, sanitation and nutrition.
The MHVM tool is therefore is an excellent tool for reducing risk by being aware of the consequences of disaster in the districts, and directing resources for making these districts more resilient so that the impact of disaster is minimized in the event of a disaster

Child Friendly City

The Child Friendly Cities(CFC) initiative aims to guide cities and other systems of local governance in the inclusion of childrens’ rights as a key component of their goals, policies, programs and structures.
UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (IRC) has partnered with the DevInfo initiative in the development of the Child Friendly Cities DevInfo assessment and monitoring toolkit.


The CensusInfo India 2011 application is a web-based tool providing quick access to the latest results from Census 2011 conducted in India using interactive data visualization tools. This web application offers many powerful features to users to help them search for, organize, filter, analyze, visulaize and share provisional population data for states, districts and sub-districts of India with ease.


A data-driven system that identifies equitable strategies to save lives for UNICEF. Equist partners with communities to optimize available resources. It uses an analytical tool called as Marginal Budgeting for Bottlenecks Toolkit for evidence-based health policy, planning, costing, and budgeting at country level. Teams from UNICEF, the World Bank, and the Ministries of health in several countries worked together to develop the tool. The MBB tool is intended for medium-term health system analysis, planning, costing, budgeting, financing, and impact assessment.


Conceived by UNESCO, OpenEMIS is an open source Education Management Information System designed to collect and report data on education systems.
This sector-wide tool is designed to strengthen statistical information on education with an agile and cost-effective EMIS that can be easily adapted to the needs of information producers and users. The flexibility of OpenEMIS allows for its use in a variety of situations including ministries of education, national statistics offices, and for education administrators at the regional, local and school level.

MDG Info

This database contains the official UN statistics used in monitoring the world’s progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. A powerful GIS based database management tools for organizing, storing and presenting data in a uniform way, allowing data to be easily and quickly shared across government departments, UN agencies and other development organizations generating facts to help make better decisions based on evidence. Analyzing national, provincial and district level data for monitoring and evaluation. It also producing high-quality map objects for knowledge dissemination and advocacy materials.

My World

MY World is a global survey for citizens led by the United Nations and partners. It aims to capture people’s voices, priorities and views, so that global leaders can be informed as they begin the process of defining the new development agenda for the world.