The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) now enjoy broad consensus as the world’s development agenda. As governments work to fulfill their promises, the UN is playing a key part to coordinate, monitor and help them address key challenges. Since 2000, the UN has also played a vital role in advocating for the MDGs.   But there is still a glaring need for a more integrated source of MDG information (country progress, data, reporting, etc.). Currently, information (especially data) on the MDGs is dispersed across many different Web sites, and it is generally not presented in a digestible way to the outside world.    There is also an information gap in tracking the concrete actions of countries in pursuit of the Goals.
The MDG Monitor, which will be launched in September as a partnership with Google, aims to collect all reliable MDG information and consolidate it into a single web portal, presenting it in an accessible way and making it available to a wider spectrum of audiences, including the mainstream media.   It will eventually include the following features:
  • MDG Feature Stories: a dedicated news portal showcasing selected MDG stories from around the world.   With help from Google, this portal should ultimately help distribute common news feeds across other Web sites. Stories also appear on maps built in Flash.
  • Google Earth: using Google Earth to track the MDGs, using official statistics and showing additional information from the MDG Monitor website in a visually striking way.
  • Geographical Progress Sheets: consolidating the latest development news, progress maps, charts, MDG reports and relevant links on a single screen.
The fact sheet will show progress, provide comparisons with other regions or countries, and enable users to put the performance of a specific region into a broader context. Once basic progress sheets are complete, subnational data could be reflected for those countries where it is reliable and readily available. 
  • MDG Testimonials: Short stories highlighting the human aspect of the MDGs, including videos produced by an array of sources such as UNHCR’s Nine Million campaign.
  • Interactive Charts & Graphs: Interactive maps and animated graphs showing MDG progress by goal and region, converting complex official UN data into a simple, accessible scheme. It will also provide links to resources for journalists and more specialized audiences.
  • Progress Maps: Thematic maps showing overall progress toward the MDGs, with additional features that will enable users to compare data and visualize trends. 
The MDG Monitor has been conceived from the start as a product of a series of partnerships collaborating on common objectives, fundraising andknowledge sharing.    Along with Google, Cisco has donated human and financial resources.  Key parts of the UN system (e.g. UNICEF for education & child mortality, WHO and UNAIDS for HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, etc.) are also involved.
Meanwhile, UNDP is also investing in improving its own Web sites.  In particular, With enthusiastic support from its top management, UNDP is updating its Information Disclosure Policy to ensure that our Country Office Web sites provide a clear account of:
  • why UNDP works in the country (legal authority as well as development objectives);
  • who are the decision-makers (both on the UNDP side, and amongst our partners) ;
  • where our money comes from and what we spend it on;
  • how we do business (including our internal rules and regulations as well as major procurement decisions); and
  • what we aim to accomplish (and how much we have accomplished so far).
UNDP is on the ground in 166 countries, and its Web sites are managed in a decentralized way; but the Communications Office help the Country Offices and other units achieve the above goals.  The Office also manages the corporate website at, designs templates, sets corporate standards for web publication, and tracks how well our Country Offices and other parts of the organization measure up to these standards.

Duties and Responsibilities

Managing the MDG Monitor and making further improvements, including:
  • Adding easily comprehensible information describing the eight MDGs;
  • Statistical updates;
  • Improved and additional geographical fact sheets, based on content submitted from UN Country Teams;
  • Submission/editing/geolocation tagging of feature news stories and refining automated tagging/filters for non-featured news stories;
  • Marketing of the website, including reciprocal links with other development sites;
  • Add new sections to the website, such as sub-national data (where available) and multimedia (videos, photo galleries, “fun facts” boxes, quizzes, etc) in order to keep users engaged and staying on the site.
  • Help create sections of the website for other languages (French, Spanish, etc.);
Support for  UNDP Web sites: - Support and manage UNDP web sites, promoting usefulness, branding and navigability as well as marketing them.
Specific responsibilities include: 
  • Ensuring UNDP’s diverse online content is kept accurate, relevant and up-to-date;
  • Facilitating a “community of practice” among UNDP’s web content consultants around the world, and especially in our Country Offices, encouraging them to share lessons learned and best practices and otherwise collaborate;
  • Scoring Country Office Web sites according to indicators defined in the organization’s “Balanced Scorecard” (results-based management system), making sure that these sites follow corporate standards and priorities, including the new Information Disclosure Policy;
  • Research, write, edit and publish online content that is clear, concise, vivid, and conveys key messages to target audiences;
  • Promote UNDP’s online content among search and directory services and through other appropriate means. Provides online support for UNDP Country Office sites when those Offices are faced with crisis and conflict situations that prevent them from maintaining the sites themselves (for instance, when the Country Office is evacuated to protect staff safety).
  • Provides support to UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention & Recovery in managing corporate Web sites relating to the organization’s work in conflict prevention, disaster recovery, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, etc.  
Above and beyond the newsgathering for the MDG Monitor, the web content consultant will also monitor the media for articles on UNDP and the UN Development System or relevant to its interests.  He/she will compile daily clippings before our New York HQ opens for business each business day, distributing them through posting on our intranet as well as through a list serve to senior consultants (including UN Country Team Resident Coordinators) and communications officers around the world.


  • Outstanding research, writing and editing skills, with an ability to produce a high volume of quality content (Please note that those short-listed for this assignment will be asked to take a written test to measure these skills);
  • Advocacy skills;
  • Commitment to the values and goals of the United Nations and the UN Charter;
  • Ability to work with minimum supervision;
  • Deadline-oriented;
  • Familiarity with the UN system; knowledge and understanding of development issues.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Significant experience with web publishing; experience with HTML coding, web design and photo editing a plus.
  • Masters degree or equivalent.
  • Fluency in English; working knowledge of French, Spanish or Arabic also would be an advantage.