Economic development is crucial to any nation's progress, and finding reliable, comprehensive information can sometimes be challenging.
That's where an economic development website comes into play, offering a wide range of datasets and valuable resources for researchers, policymakers, business owners and the general public.
Here are my favourite websites for data quality, reliability, and comprehensiveness.
- Climate Watch
- Our World in Data
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- World Bank
- Brookings Institution
- National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
- Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)
- Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- Economic Development Quarterly (EDQ)
Climate Watch is an online platform providing open data, visualisations and analysis to help policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders gather valuable insights on countries' climate progress.
The website includes data and insights regarding greenhouse gas emissions, climate policies, and targets from different countries, aiding in tracking and analysing climate action.
The quality of data and visualisation on the site is world-class and played a crucial role in creating this site. Their open-source data provides the backbone for our analysis of national emissions data.
Our World in Data
Another fantastic resource is Our World in Data, a digital publication providing research and data to progress against the world's largest problems. Whenever I need reliable statistics and data on global issues, I turn to this site as my go-to source.
The website has a wealth of datasets, research and blog posts spanning topics from poverty, disease, hunger, climate change, war, existential risks, and inequality.
The site provides a comprehensive understanding of significant global issues using empirical data and visualisations. It is known for offering an in-depth, data-driven examination of crucial topics, providing readers with actionable insights and a clear understanding of humanity's challenges.
Earth.Org is a global environmental non-profit organisation that aims to educate and inform the public about the latest environmental news and challenges.
The website provides a huge range of blog articles and resources on climate change, sustainability, pollution, and wildlife, among other environmental topics.
Earth.Org aims to foster awareness and inspire action towards a more sustainable future through its informational content.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
UNCTAD is an intergovernmental organisation under the United Nations aimed at promoting the interests of developing countries in world trade.
The organisation provides evidence-based policy analysis to help countries improve national incomes and social/environmental outcomes.
UNCTAD's objective is to assist underdeveloped countries to integrate into the global economy, supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and development.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an authoritative platform encompassing 190 member countries and provides insight into economic policies that foster financial stability and monetary cooperation.
As a reliable source of global economic indicators, they contribute significantly to increasing productivity, international development, employment opportunities, and economic well-being.
They also produce one of the leading economic development podcasts if you are more of a listener than a reader.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The OECD is an intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries, established in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
It collaborates with over 100 developing and developed countries as a policy forum to promote policies that enhance people's economic and social well-being worldwide.
Their data-driven approach offers crucial insights into key industries, labour markets, and sustainable development, making it a vital resource for economic growth.
The OECD's Data portal features a collection of interactive datasets on multiple topics, from labour markets to international trade and public sector investment.
The OECD's work spans various economic, educational, and social issues, providing data and analysis to help governments design better policies for better lives.
The World Bank is a pivotal resource for those interested in global economic data and research. Its expansive range of analysis encompasses numerous topics pertinent to poverty reduction and economic development plans.
Through its publications and data, the World Bank extends a substantial knowledge base to individuals, policymakers, and institutions aiming to understand and address economic challenges.
Their YouTube channel showcases an incredible selection of videos discussing community development policy, from poverty reduction to sustainable development and more.
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organisation stationed in Washington, D.C., recognised for its high-calibre, impartial research.
The institution transcends theoretical analysis and offers innovative, pragmatic recommendations derived from its research.
It's a reputable source for those seeking insightful policy analysis and proposals to address various economic and developmental issues.
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
NBER provides access to a plethora of economic research papers and publications. It's esteemed for its meticulous work on the current business cycle, making it a crucial resource for economists, policymakers, and academicians.
The NBER’s offerings are central for economic developers wishing to delve into advanced studies and grasp the underlying dynamics of economic fluctuations.
Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)
FRED is synonymous with a vast compilation of economic statistics and financial indicators. It's a comprehensive resource for anyone seeking to analyse economic trends, offering a rich database that encapsulates various economic and financial metrics.
FRED's data repository is instrumental for researchers, economists, and policymakers in making informed decisions and understanding economic trajectories.
Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) is heralded for its profound work in public finance and economic policy analysis.
It's a hub for research and analysis that shapes understanding and discussions around fiscal policy.
Through rigorous research, the IFS aids in illuminating the budgetary challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, making it an indispensable resource for those engaged in economic policy dialogue.
International Labour Organization (ILO)
ILO is a crucial source of data, research, and policy insights on global labour and industry trends.
It provides a wealth of information and analysis on employment issues, labour standards, and work-related policies, thereby aiding stakeholders in formulating informed labour and employment policies.
ILO's work is integral for promoting decent work conditions and understanding the evolving dynamics of global labour markets.
Economic Development Quarterly (EDQ)
Economic Development Quarterly (EDQ) is a scholarly journal furnishing a platform for research and practice-oriented discussions in economic development.
It’s a notable platform for sharing research findings, discussing economic development strategy, and disseminating practical knowledge among academics, practitioners, and policymakers in the economic development sphere.
The Pillars of Comprehensive Economic Websites
You may wonder how to improve your online presence if you are part of an economic development organisation that is not on the list. As a marketer who operates multiple websites, it interests me immensely.
When I think about comprehensive economic websites, several notable features come to mind, such as the quality of resources, design, tools, and user experience.
A crucial aspect of comprehensive economic websites is innovative design. An intuitive and user-friendly design is essential for users to navigate the wealth of information seamlessly.
Using interactive maps and infographics also adds to the visual appeal and facilitates a better understanding of complex data and ideas.
This is an area in which Our World in Data stands out. Here is an example that briefly outlines how our land use contributes to agriculture. It was an inspiration for our article on how meat eating affects the environment.
I'm always looking for great video content that breaks down economic concepts in a digestible manner.
Having engaging and informative videos can benefit knowledge seekers as they combine auditory and visual elements, thus improving the retention of information.
This is an area that the World Bank does well, such as in this bite-size video discussing emissions reduction initiatives in Indonesia.
Data visualisation and interactivity
In addition, comprehensive economic websites often provide advanced analysis tools that help me delve deeper into the data. These may include data visualisation tools, calculators or interactive models allowing users to manipulate variables and witness the economic impact.
Interactive maps are a fantastic way to visualise and explore data related to economic development. They provide an engaging and dynamic experience for users to comprehend information better.
For example, Our World in Data showcases many interactive maps and charts to help users explore global economic growth and social indicators. For instance, their interactive area chart of carbon emissions over time highlights the rapid increase since the Industrial Revolution.
Finally, ease of navigation is another essential pillar of an excellent economic website. Users must be able to find what they're looking for quickly without getting lost in an ocean of data. This is especially true when they are using a mobile device.
One of the keys to a user-friendly website is having clear calls to action. These help guide users by providing direct and precise instructions about what they can do on the site or what the site wants them to do. It not only improves user experience but also helps organisations achieve their goals.
User experience is an area that many of the sites listed above excel, but particular praise goes to Earth.org for its clean layout and easy navigation.
And that's a wrap! Here's a list of the best economic development websites and my recommendations for improving the digital presence of an effective data-driven site.
Do you agree with my list? Did I miss any obvious contenders? Drop me an email at email@example.com to let me know.