The Open-Source Dissemination System (OSDS) developed by the U.S. Census Bureau and sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development is a set of applications that support National Statistical Offices (NSOs) in producing quality census dissemination products. Effective data dissemination is one of the most critical tasks undertaken by NSOs. By disseminating statistical data in ways that are useful for varied users, NSOs can promote public interest in census results and ensure data users make informed decisions. OSDS directly addresses the demand for a user-friendly solution to disseminate census results.
Specifically, OSDS takes NSO spatial and demographic data and produces forward-facing dynamic maps and graphs. These visualizations are built based on best practices for the specific metrics and visual output recommendations for all UN-defined Population and Housing Census (PHC) Core Topics. OSDS acts as an internal tool for NSOs in analyzing their tabulated population and housing datasets, while also acting as an external, forward-facing platform for non-NSO data users to access and download visualizations and their associated data. Finally, OSDS aids NSOs in census tabulation dissemination by providing downloads to formatted, dynamic reports at multiple geographic levels in PDF format, and downloads to all OSDS visualizations in .html format. This toolkit is a free, open-source platform built for countries to use as is, or to adapt as needed.