World Development Report 2021

An illustrated, approachable digital summary of the World Bank's 350-page development report.

World Bank

Several abstract circles, each made of several small curved lines. The circles have smaller circular holes cut out in the middle.

What is the data revolution doing for the 700 million people who live in extreme poverty?

The 2021 edition of the World Development Report from the World Bank explains how data can improve the lives of poor people and advance development objectives.

Working with fellow data viz experts Jan Willem Tulp and Maarten Lambrechts, we turned the report’s 350 pages into an engaging website and broke its biggest ideas down into nine digestible stories with animated visuals.

We loved the way the report’s original illustrations, created by Base Three Studio, reflected the real human lives behind the data. So we commissioned freelance illustrator Elisabetta Calabritto / Loveblood Creative to capture the same style and tie the pages together.

We also created a style guide for the team to follow for story pages and charts. With over 20 different types of data visualization, this aligned approach was crucial.

To help people understand the report’s more abstract concepts, we broke them down using scroll-triggered animations that build in the ideas frame-by-frame.

The entirety of the site design was pared back to let the illustrations really shine and touches of animation were brought in to engage readers even more.

A screenshot from the World Development Report summary website. It's full of text and colourful illustrations revealing how data is being used as a force for good and change around the world.
Four screenshots of how the World Development Report website works on mobile. Each page is a mix of text and colourful graphics.
An illustration split in two halves vertically. The left half shows the initial sketch for the illustration in black and white with pencil. The right hand side shows the final illustration in full colour. The full image shows an infinity symbol covered in graphics like trees and clouds and human characters
Stylish donut charts showing the percentage of countries with a data governance entity, divided into income groups. While 53% of high-income countries have established entities, there were none in low-income countries.

Get in

beyond words logo
Follow us
Find us
Beyond Words Studio UK 91 Brick Lane London, E1 6QL
Beyond Words Studio US Florida, USA
Beyond Words Studio EU Dublin, Ireland
Copyright Beyond Words Studio Ltd. 2024