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Types of technology

Typically, countries pursue one of three technical approaches: building an open source platform, utilizing proprietary software, or a hybrid mix of the two.

All approaches allow for individual customization for each country.

Open source

Open-source software is free and can be redistributed and modified at no charge to users. To date, several countries have built open source reporting platforms that can be adopted and adapted by other countries. Open-source SDG reporting platforms can serve to gather, host, secure, and display SDG indicator data and metadata. Some countries have utilized open-source tools for specific functions such as data quality checks or analysis. Open-source platforms allow countries to share progress and developments with others using this approach. (See ‘Open-source solutions’ section for more information on this approach.)


Several technical solution providers have developed tools and platforms to enable the coordination and publication of data on the SDGs. The software can feature a wide variety of customized data management, analysis, and visualization tools. Solution providers can also give ongoing technical support.


Countries may choose to combine open-source and proprietary approaches. Using elements of both approaches gives countries the benefits of open-source software with additional support and customization from a technical solution provider.

Features and functionality