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.
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.
Development of sustainability and prosperity indicators and indices for cities
Development of urban observatories
Use of a standardized approaches for establishing and updating a common urban development database for better planning and monitoring customized to the needs of each city;
Use of innovative technology to sharpen the focus on the underlying key performance indicators, both outcomes and processes, defined by OpenCities Institute;
Use of real-time monitoring mechanisms and rapid feedback reports for iterative management of decentralized programme implementation of urban development programmes;
Use of open source technologies for monitoring urban development programmes with capacity development and technical support for transfer of technology and ownership;
Integration and enhancements of existing open source technologies for data capture, analysis, storage and dissemination, such as UrbanInfo, with linkages to digital mapping/GIS
Creation of a technology platform to collate, analyze, visualize and disseminate urban monitoring instruments, tools and data;
Training programmes to support the implementation of urban development;
Advocacy materials for dissemination of urban development information;
Training and capacity development actions to urban authorities on development of indicators;
The development of policy advocacy tools and mechanisms at the national and city levels.
Development of Indices
Description: Services under this category include the conceptualization of indicators and indices such as the Sustainable Prosperous Cities Index, development of metadata with definition, rationale and methodology.
Conceptualization of indicators and indices relevant to Sustainability, Prosperity and other urban indicators
Contextualization of indicators and indices to tailor country and city specific needs
Collection and analysis of data required to prepare indicators
Description: Services under this category include the maintenance and expansion of existing urban development databases created or sponsored by cities, such as UrbanInfo.
Technical enhancements to existing databases using UrbanInfo database technology
Creation of city databases from various data sources, using UrbanInfo database technology, in support of the implementation of OpenCities Institute
Harmonizing data sets and merging databases to consolidate and publish city databases using statistical standards and Open Urban data technology
Advocacy and Communications
Description: Services under this category include the development of activities to complement communication campaigns on OpenCities Institute products. Assets created will include interactive dashboards, videos, infographics, e-learning courseware and posters customized to meet the requirements of cities implementing OpenCities Institute products.
Development of multi-media technology concepts with key messages
Creation of multi-media material for training and communications campaigns
Translations and adaptations of current multi-media assets for specific cities
Monitoring and Framework
Description: Services under this category include the development or adaptation of a monitoring framework to facilitate the tracking of urban development plans. The monitoring system needs to be available online, be easily adapted for each city.
Development of a OpenCities Institute monitoring system to track urban development plans, including customization for specific cities
Application of linkages between city, country, regional and global frameworks
Description: Services under this category include training of partners on: data collection and analysis, data management, database technology tools, adaptation and usage of multi-media assets, and implementation of OpenCities Institute monitoring tools.
Creation of curriculum/agenda for trainings, taking into account city-specific contexts and requests
Support countries and cities in the establishment of urban observatories
Provision of workshop trainings and trainings of trainers to staff and partners on database technology, such as Open Urban Data, and the OpenCities Institute monitoring system
Provision of technical trainings to IT staff to facilitate the creation, hosting, and maintenance of city databases and monitoring frameworks
Remote (web-based) workshops and seminars on key topics to support SPCC monitoring and evidence-based planning
Support and Maintenance
Description: Services under this category will include technical support to cities on database technology, OpenCities Institute monitoring and evaluation frameworks, as well as the adaptation of multi-media assets.
Provision of 24/7 support in multiple languages
Maintenance and enhancements to OpenCities Institute database and city-specific databases and M&E frameworks
Provision of user guides and related technical documentation
Mapping and GIS
Description: Services under this category include the preparation of city maps and spatial analysis using GIS.
Toolsets and framework for organizing multi-disciplinary information at all scales
Create interactive queries (user-created searches), analyze spatial information, edit data in maps, and present the results of all these operations
Providing spatial analysis of suitably coded data and provide striking, visual representations of data
Mapping/GIS services to cover updating of geographic files and/or re-projection into Open Urban data platform