In order to better track the evolution of child and adolescent well-being in Colombia, the UNICEF country office created a massive database containing more than 7 million data on youth spanning from 2005 to present from official State sources.
The DevInfo database – currently the largest one in the global Catalog, with a downloadable underlying data file weighing 53.5 MB – is called SINFONIA (System of Information about Children and Adolescents) and launched this month as part of a larger initiative aiming to bolster transparency on children’s rights in the country.
“If you wanted to look at data on youth in Colombia, you first had to choose between dozens of various sources from the Government. There was no database that aggregated all of this important information and made it available in a few clicks,” remarks Olga Izasa, Public Policy Specialist at UNICEF Colombia.
The team spent a year developing a web platform that made access to such socio-economic information available (and easily understandable) to all. At the heart of the portal is the SINFONIA database, which allows users to view data on the national, departmental and municipal level.
The database contains 79 indicators on sectors including health and education, as well as disaggregated by area and focusing on special sub-groups (e.g. landmine victims, victims of sexual abuse…). When asked who the target audience for the database is, Mrs. Izasa responds: “all individuals working in a field that involves childhood development can find a wealth of information in SINFONIA, including but not limited to local governments, universities and the media.”
Built on DevInfo 7, SINFONIA includes key features such as Quick Data Search for individuals in a hurry to find information as well as eleven customizable visualization tools for downloading, sharing and inclusion in advocacy material.
UNICEF Colombia also made available departmental reports for download, which include key information on that specific area. Below are excerpts from the Vichada report (the second largest department in the country). Click on any of the two visuals to access the PDF report.
“The web platform has launched and we’re starting our dissemination efforts, which is a big success,” says Mrs. Izasa. “Now, we are looking forward to seeing how it will help decision-makers improve the lives of children in Colombia. If it does, then we will have fulfilled our vision.”
For additional information, please contact Carolina Plata Vidales, Communications Specialist, UNICEF Colombia, at firstname.lastname@example.org.