The challenge

The Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), managed by UNICEF and WHO, is the global guardian of water, sanitation and hygiene data (WASH). Making the data accessible and maximising its usefulness in decision making and awareness raising is central to the JMP’s purpose.

The 2016 changeover from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) required the JMP to rebuild and reorganise their existing website and strategy for data sharing.

JMP’s legacy website had become difficult to search and navigate; understanding what the website was offering and how to access it had become increasingly unclear. Adding new content was difficult, and the business of uploading and managing data was error prone and unwieldy. The old site did not meet required accessibility and security standards, had not been designed with mobile and tablet device use cases in mind, and the visual design and JMP identity were in need of a redesign.

Most importantly, we needed to understand the requirements of JMPs external audiences in order to make the wealth of JMP data as effective and engaging as possible in the hands of global opinion formers and decision makers.

The approach

We assembled an expert project team with the skills to produce complex data visualisations as well as securely host, rebuild, rebrand, re-architect and support the JMP website. We delivered the project in collaboration with fellow CoTech members, Outlandish, who brought their skills and experience to bear on the development of the data analytics tool.

We discovered the needs of JMP’s external audiences and revealed the most effective, engaging stories to tell with the JMP dataset. Using Drupal 8 as the CMS allowed for easy administration of website content as well as data upload and testing.

The outcome

By analysing site usage statistics we identified where the legacy website had been underperforming, and ran user research interviews to identify high value content, data stories and user journeys.

Reducing the top-level navigation from 14 to 4 items helped clarify the purpose of the new site. We used filters, facets and taxonomy vocabularies to make searching for JMP resources and reports in different languages simple and reliable, and new search functionality returns both report documents and web content in response to a single search query. The use of a simple monitoring taxonomy allows users to browse horizontally across data reports, methods and contextual information by topic e.g. drinking water, sanitation, hygiene.

We also created a strong new brand identity for JMP based on their signature ladder charts, with a brand guidelines document to help ensure consistency across both online and print implementation.

The new website is responsive, clean, modern, and user-centred. Finding relevant content and exploring JMP data is intuitive and fast, and better typography has significantly improved readability.

The interactive data tool allows users to explore, analyse, visualise and share JMP data. Starting from a world map view, visitors can access charts for drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene by country of interest, SDG region or globally. Charts can be customised to analyse inequalities in service levels.

Users can create custom Ladder, Inequality, Rank and Trend charts for world, SDG region or country, additionally specifying periods of time, measure, types of chart, and inequality types. These custom charts can be titled, saved, shared online or downloaded as an image for use in a slideshow or report document.

Custom data tables can also be created by measure, inequality, ladder type, geography and time period, and can be downloaded as a csv file for analysis using other data software tools.

And to help users get the most out of the data visualisation features, we created a series of five 7-10 minute screencasts.

Since the re-launch, site visits and sessions per year have both increased by more than 30%.