This instructor-led course offers a double opportunity: i) to strengthen core data visualization and storytelling skills and ii) to apply data visualization and storytelling tools and principles for reporting and communication purposes. The course covers aspects related to the interpretation, visualization and presentation of data that is of direct relevance to the work of the United Nations.


Part of our responsibility as UN staff is to turn information and data into stories that help to inform our stakeholders, including national authorities and civil society. However, data complexity can often obscure our main findings or hinder a true understanding of impact.

How do we make information more accessible to different audiences? Often this is done by displaying data and information visually. If not done carefully, however, our efforts can lead to confusion.

The ability to create impactful data visualizations, such as graphs or maps, has become a core skill for analysts, researchers and managers in the United Nations system. Whether we capture disparate data points or research findings in meaningful and impactful, visual stories often means the difference between our stakeholders making, or not making, evidence-based decisions.




By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the steps to select the right visualization while considering the data, audience, and objective
  • Apply fundamental design principles to declutter graphs and focus attention
  • Communicate effectively our key messages with data
  • Identify when and how to use interactive visual displays, GIS, data dashboards and crowdsourcing visualizations 
Course methodology

This is an online-led instructor course.

Participants will get access to the UNSSC UNKampus platform, where they will find the asynchronous learning material, will have the opportunity to practice with optional exercises between the webinars, reflect in their personal blog and interact in the asynchronous discussion forum with the UNSSC instructor and team.

The weekly instructor-led webinars are conducted on Zoom. The webinars will take place on 17 May, 24 May, 31 May and 7 June, from 14:00 to 17:00 CET. Participants need a computer (or mobile device), a reliable internet connection and either a headset with a microphone to connect to the audio through a computer, or a telephone. We recommend accessing audio through your computer. No special software is required, but participants must be able to access Zoom. We will send access instructions to registered participants, and we recommend that you download the application and test your setup in advance.

Course contents

This course is an immersive and interactive virtual learning journey where participants will practice the craft and science of data visualization using data examples relevant to work of the United Nations.  

The course is organized in 4 weekly modules, as follows:

Week 1

  • Introduction to the many forms of data visualization
  • Principles of effective data visualization 

Week 2

  • Putting principles into practice

Week 3

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for data visualization 
  • Interactive data displays 

Week 4

  • Data Dashboards 
  • Qualitative data displays 
  • Checking your work via crowdsourcing 
Target audience

The course is intended for UN staff that is exposed to interpret, analyse, communicate and report on data.  It is geared to all interested UN personnel (professional and general service staff) at headquarters and field locations.

Cost of participation

The course fee is $1,100.