Stories

100 Websites: A look at how country teams are communicating about the UN’s work


A woman smiles cheerfully at the camera as she holds a sign that reads "The new UN Country Team websites lets the UN Country Team BE MORE VISIBLE"
Caption: Tuba Coskun from UN Turkey shares her excitement for the UN country team websites with colleagues across the globe.
Photo: UN Turkey/Tuba Coskun

In December 2020, we marked a big milestone: 100 UN country teams (or UNCTs) now have websites that are all connected under one web hosting environment. Under this one umbrella, 100 country teams can now share news with partners. 100 country teams can issue statements to the press. 100 country teams can speak more directly to donors. And there’s lots more they can do.  

We surveyed people in 30 of the country teams, and here’s what they had to say about the new websites.  

1. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR NEW UN COUNTRY TEAM WEBSITE IN ONE WORD?  

People in all regions of the world are loving the new sites. Several took note of how “professional,” “attractive,” “modern” or “clean” the new site looks. Others were more effusive in their praise, calling it “dynamic,” “phenomenal,” “beautiful” or “excellent”!  It’s also “informative” and “user-friendly,” others said.  The UNCT in Burundi was pleased with how the new website communicates the UN’s “image” in the country. Ukraine put it succinctly when they said the new website helps them “shine.”  

2. WHAT OTHER UN COUNTRY TEAM WEBSITES ARE YOU INSPIRED BY?  

In all of the now more than 100 country teams with websites, people are looking to other countries’ websites for inspiration. A few people name-checked the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) website (thanks!). The Turkmenistan website was named as an inspiration by staff in Uzbekistan, Jamaica, Lebanon, Indonesia, and Egypt! Staff in Nepal mentioned the Myanmar website, Peru appreciates the work they’re doing in Costa Rica. In Malawi they look to Rwanda, and Burundi looks to Benin. We hope you’ll keep checking out each other’s work for ideas and inspiration!  

3. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SHARE MORE OF THIS YEAR ON THE WEBSITE?  

Anita warmly smiles as she holds a sign that reads she's excited to share joy and hope on their country team website.

Caption: "I'm excited to share joy and hope on our UNCT website this year," says Anita Pinto, UN Cabo Verde.

Photo: UN Cabo Verde/Anita Pinto

The websites have a great new look that users appreciate. So what content are they excited about sharing? From Honduras to Madagascar and beyond, many people are looking forward to sharing stories on the websites. Turkey, for example, has some original stories to share, as well as Turkish translations of other stories. All told, folks feel that the stories will have greater impact on the sparkling new websites. In Equatorial Guinea, they’re looking forward to spotlighting their work on gender equality and human rights, while Bosnia & Herzegovina wants to lift up SDG champions for the Decade of Action. Indonesia wants to share data visualizations, and Ghana can’t wait to share all the latest stories and publications.  

4. WHAT IS ONE AUDIENCE YOU WANT TO REACH THIS YEAR—AND HOW?  

Lots of UNCTs are looking to engage youth. To achieve that, Kosovo* and Haiti will both be incorporating more social media elements into the website, while Namibia wants to post more “cool” content—way to go, Namibia, we can’t wait to see what you do! The team in Cabo Verde says they will “listen to youth” to figure out what content they want, while folks in Bosnia & Herzegovina will give youth space on the website to share their contributions to the SDGs. Some countries wanted to reach civil society or government, as possible partners. In Turkey, they aim to reach a bigger local audience with content in the Turkish language. Several countries said they wanted to reach all their audiences better by speaking in plain language rather than jargon, and lots of folks around the world want to get more visual: more photos, more videos, more graphics. Great ideas, everyone!  

5. WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE THIS YEAR WITH THE UNCT WEBSITE?  

A man smiles sweetly at the camera as he holds up a small sign that shares his vision of the site for the next year, in Spanish.

Caption: "This year, I am excited to share life stories on our country team website," says Christian Sanchez, UN Peru.

Photo: UN Peru/Christian Sanchez

Most countries said they wanted to reach more people. Some countries answered this question by giving numerical targets—100,000 monthly visitors, or doubling the number of visitors. Others didn’t put numbers to it but identified objectives such as more “steady visibility” (Kosovo*) or reaching “different sectors” (Myanmar). Some countries wanted to put more content in local languages, such as was the case with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.  

6. WHAT IS A COOL FEATURE OF THE NEW WEBSITE THAT YOU REALLY LIKE?  

Cynthia Prah of UN Ghana proudly holds up a sign that reads, " I am excited to share your stories on our UNCT website this year!"

Caption: "I am excited to share your stories on our UNCT website this year, " says Cynthia Prah, UN Ghana.

Photo: UN Ghana/Cynthia Prah

Honduras loves “the variety of information we can share,” while Madagascar, Turkey and Zambia remarked on how easy it is to navigate and upload new content. Equatorial Guinea likes the “shared space for collaboration,” while Lebanon is into the “take action” section. Jamaica, Kazakhstan, and Somalia like the fresh new look of the home page, they’re proud of the image they’re projecting to web visitors. Montenegro likes the easy links to other UN website with data on the SDGs. Myanmar and Ukraine both enjoy being able to post photo stories and multimedia stories more easily, and, similarly, Cabo Verde says it’s cool to be able to put more of a human face to their work.  

The UN does lifesaving and life-changing work every day around the world. When we communicate about that work, the work gains more partners, more funders, more fans, and more impact. Thank you, UN country teams, for all the work you do! 

To view a listing of all the country teams websites, visit our announcement
 

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) 

Produced by Development Coordination Office. Written by Paul VanDeCarr, Development Coordination Office, with support from Pilar Lagos, Development Coordination Office. Special thanks and congratulations to all UN Country Teams across the globe!

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