Screencaps of a Work in Progress

How much does the UN spend each year? Where does that money go? Who’s spending it? Is it concentrated in a few countries or evenly spread around the world??

To answer some of these questions for myself, I started where I always start. With the data!!

A quick search lead me to the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB). On that site I was able to locate information about UN Agency financials, specifically how much money is spent by each agency in different parts of the world.

The short answer to my question is that UN spends a lot of money every year, to the tune of $23 Billion in 2016 alone. The UN’s site provides some boilerplate visualizations using circle packed area charts (enough has already been said about these). There was nothing that gave me a single view perspective on all of the expenditures. I decided to find a way to visualize where the money was going to by breaking down each of the "expenses" by country and by agency.

So, I decided to try visualizing it with a Network Graph…

This blog post is the first in a series of updates I’ll be posting covering the development of this network graph. Warts and all, I’ll be showing the design and code used to build this visualization.

Work in Progress Screencaps

The following images show the data visualization at various states of development. What is missing from these shots is that it is an interactive visualization. People are able to discover and filter by UN Agency, by amount spent, or by country.

I’ll be updating as work continues.


I’d love to hear from you if you find this interesting or have suggestions or questions. There are several ways to reach me, or use any of the social links included on the site.

Thanks for coming by!