Recognizing the potential of data innovation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) innovation teams at the Regional Centre for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (ECIS) and the Regional Hub for Arab States embarked on a “big data for development exploration journey,” seeking to harness new sources of data to improve services or programme implementation on topics including disaster risk management, improved welfare, migration, and poverty reduction. As part of this exercise, six UNDP Offices from the two regions developed data innovation proof-of-concept projects with governmental and civil society partners, to address urgent local challenges and gain hands-on experience in data innovation. UN Global Pulse provided technical guidance, coaching and tools to the project managers for the duration of the exercise, and the cohort shared advice and challenges at in-person workshops. This guide is based on these experiences, and on the methodology created by Global Pulse to design and implement data innovation projects across the UN system. The joint exercise showed how alternative sources of data can and should play a role in pursuing development outcomes and, as such, hold great promise for ful lling the Sustainable Development Goals—both from the perspective of pursuing the outcomes as well as enabling (close to) real-time monitoring and evaluation.