Inequality in human development – deep imbalances in the opportunities and choices people have – goes beyond income recognizing the dynamic and complex interactions between inequalities in education, health, voice, access to technology, and exposure to risk among many other dimensions that affect individual well-being.

The Human Development Report Office (HDRO) is organizing a data visualization challenge and would like to invite a broad cross-section of students, researchers, data users, data scientists, data visualization developers and others to share their interpretation of inequality in human development using a novel and thought-provoking illustration of data. Participants are encouraged to push the boundaries and go beyond traditional data sources and existing concepts.

The rewards and key dates

  • The winner will an HDRO guest at the announcement event in Brussels, Belgium at the European Development Days on 18 June 2019
  • The winning data visualization will be published and showcased in the online version of the 2019 Human Development Report; other visualizations will also be showcased by HDRO in different ways, including online and social media
  • The deadline for submission is 27 May 2019
  • You may send your data visualization in several ways: 1/upload the visualization to a public shared drive such as Dropbox; 2/post the visualization on your website, or any other online hosting service, and send us the link to: [email protected]
  • Any questions? Please contact [email protected]

Guidelines for entry

Participants may build a visualization using the human development datasets ( but are also encouraged to push the boundaries and use data sources (especially including big data) to show an original and thought-provoking illustration of inequality in human development. Although we welcome using many data sources it is important that the data are accurate, current and objective.

Participants may address broad trends in inequality, or patterns or relationships within the data. Visualizations should be designed with a global audience in mind. Visualizations must be interactive and encourage audiences to engage and question the data to discover their own insights. The visualization must be well presented with a thoughtful use of fonts, size, alignment, and colors. Visualizations can be developed using Google Data Studio, JavaScript, Tableau or any other language or tool.

Participants are encouraged to examine the following questions:

  • How can inequalities between countries and inequalities within countries be best illustrated and how might this impact the level of human development of a country? How can we better visualize gaps between groups? How to see those left behind?
  • How to visualize emerging and/or new inequalities today in specific contexts? Access to new technologies? Access to a better quality of life? Access to infrastructure? Etc.
  • How can new sources of data be used for better visualizations of inequalities in human development?

Participants shall develop a summary of data visualization that explains:

  1. Choice of topic within the overall theme of inequality
  2. How the dataset was obtained and sources
  3. Any cleaning, parsing, and analysis you performed on the dataset
  4. How data visualization improves/highlights a new understanding of the topic
  5. Any conclusions or inferences that can be made from the data visualization

The summary should not exceed 500 words and must be in English. HDRO might ask the participants to convert the summary into a blog post for publishing at

Four criteria will be used to judge the entries:

  • Does the visualization show a novel and insightful illustration of inequality in human development?
  • Is the visualization well-presented and formatted, how does it balance the creativity and functionality?
  • Effectiveness to transform underlying data into insight.
  • Does the visualization interactivity entice exploration and engagement?


  • Human Development Index and its components
  • Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index and its components
  • Gender Inequality Index
  • Gender-related Development Index
  • Multidimensional Poverty Index
  • Any other human development indicator from or other official (or credible) data source
  • Big data sources including satellite imagery, global flows, social media, etc.

Additional resources

Rules and regulations

Data Protection and Publicity

Winners may be requested to take part in promotional activity and HDRO reserves the right to use the names and addresses of winners in any publicity both in print and online.

Any personal data relating to participants will not be disclosed to a third party without the individual’s consent. Data relating to participants will be retained by HDRO for a reasonable period after the contest closes to assist HDRO to operate competitions in a consistent manner and to deal with any queries on the contest.

Intellectual Property

HDRO, unless otherwise agreed with participants, claims any rights of ownership in your Entry.

Each participant hereby agrees that HDRO (and third parties authorized by HDRO) may make any and all entries available in their publications and on their websites and any other media, whether now known or invented in the future. You now grant HDRO a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable license (for the full period of any rights in the entry) to use, display, publish, transmit, and copy the entry for such purposes.

HDRO may, in appropriate circumstances, and at its sole discretion, reject, edit, remove or disable access to entries that appear to be legally or otherwise problematic e.g. infringe the copyright or other intellectual property or privacy rights of others, are defamatory etc. or for any other reason.

Your entry and any information submitted are made by you. You hereby warrant that your entry and all information which you submit and/or distribute will not infringe the intellectual property, privacy or any other rights of any third party, and will not contain anything which is libelous, defamatory, obscene, indecent, harassing or threatening.

External Data

All external data used for this competition by participants must be sourced and referenced.


HDRO will not accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any participant entering the contest or as a result of accepting any prize. HDRO is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment or software, failure of any email or entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet, telephone lines or at any web site, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer or mobile telephone related to or resulting from participation in the competition.


The winner will be invited to attend the EU Development Days event in Brussels on 18 June 2019. Please note that travel is subject to the winner being able to obtain a visa to visit the country in question.

How do I give you the link to my visualization?

Please upload the visualization to a public shared drive such as Google Drive or Dropbox, or give us the link to your interactive website.

Can I enter more than once?

Yes, as long as you enter before the deadline of 27 May 2019. However, we will only consider your last submission in the challenge.