PRAIS 4 reporting platform is live

PRAIS screenshot


After a year of hard work, the UNCCD Performance Review and Implementation System (PRAIS) has undergone a major upgrade –from the 3rd (PRAIS 3) to 4th edition (PRAIS 4). It is now live at the following link.

The PRAIS upgrade was made possible thanks to continued support from the Global Support Programme (GSP), funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment).  

The new and improved PRAIS, known as PRAIS 4, will make access to reporting data easier for country Parties, centralize all reporting data in one place and offer geospatial data features for the first time. PRAIS 4 is an example of how Big Data coupled with cutting edge Information Technology systems and the power of the internet can make a real difference in assisting country Parties meet their reporting obligations. Here are some of the key improvements and features Parties can expect when using PRAIS 4 over previous versions of the system:

  • Online reporting: The reporting system is accessible through your preferred web browser and all information can be entered and saved online ensuring the reported data is secure and backed up. Two-factor authentication can be enabled providing an extra layer of security to users.
  • Centralized storage: All national reports, data and information will be collated centrally in an online database. Parties will still be able to generate a standalone national report.
  • Dynamic spatial data: Geospatial data that supports national reporting is now viewable in the online reporting system; countries can use it to enhance their reporting by providing spatial files as well as tabular reporting data.
  • Multilingual reporting: All content on PRAIS has been made available in all 6 UN languages. Switching between languages is easy, both on individual pages and to set the language preference for the entire system.
  • User account management: While there is still one designated PRAIS Reporting Officer per country Party, an unlimited number of additional country users can be added who can assist with national reporting. This makes PRAIS a collaborative and inclusive working space.
  • Revision and review support: The system now facilitates in-built revision and review functionalities so the national report can be reviewed by UNCCD  in collaboration with country users. There will be an audit trail of the evolution of the national report from working draft to as many revisions as required prior to the reporting deadline.
  • Integrated support, guidance, help and news updates: There are multiple avenues for PRAIS 4 support – an online PRAIS user manual, UNCCD reporting manual and glossary, overview video of PRAIS 4 and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). The helpdesk will be there for any additional support requests.

In addition to these novel technical features, here’s how PRAIS 4 will enhance the reporting process and represents a big leap forward in UNCCD national reporting:

Setting the foundation for a data-driven approach to everything we do at UNCCD: PRAIS 4 combines cutting-edge geospatial information, technology and services that can maximize the value of reporting data, for better decisions and to deliver stronger evidence-based messages to our Parties and stakeholders. Reporting data is a long term asset to be valued and safeguarded. Without PRAIS 4, reporting data would not yield its full value.  PRAIS 4 therefore sets the foundations for future innovation in reporting and, more broadly, for a UNCCD data-driven transformation in line with the Secretary General’s “Data Strategy for Action by Everyone, Everywhere”.

Helping countries move from ambition to action: The Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Target Setting Programme of the UNCCD encourages country Parties to set smarter, data-driven targets to achieve neutrality within a given timeframe.  These targets cover a broad range of land issues ranging from soil organic carbon replenishment, improving agriculture productivity or restoring degraded forests. Accurate and timely data is essential for country Parties to set targets that are quantitative, timebound and in line with levels of national ambition. Default data provided to countries for reporting through PRAIS will enable them to report geographically explicit LDN targets and related implementation actions to meet those targets. UNCCD will continue to support country Parties both in setting smarter targets and achieving them, with continual improvements in geospatial and other forms of data provided through PRAIS.

Ensuring national ownership of globally derived estimates: PRAIS 4 is fully compatible with Trends.Earth, a free and open-source tool for monitoring indicators of land change developed by Conservation International.  Trends.Earth not only operationalizes standardized methodologies documented in the UNCCD Good Practice Guidance documents, but gives countries control in producing their own estimates based on country data and nationally determined assumptions. This will help improve ownership while ensuring harmonization and comparability across countries, strengthen country capacity for data production and use, and reduce reliance on externally produced estimates.

The way forward: Analytics and visualization tools will make UNCCD data relevant to all: Facilitating country efforts to report is only the start - once national reporting is complete in 2022, the secretariat will launch a web portal that will grant public users a unique insight into the reporting data through country data dashboards linked to country profiles as well as a global space where key questions about the UNCCD mission and mandate can be answered through data.

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