Mobilizing for the Data Revolution

Mobilizing data to meet the goals of the “Data Revolution” will require a combination of technological innovation, skills training, and lasting partnerships. This holistic approach defines much of Development Gateway’s programming – as exemplified by our Aid Management Program (AMP). We are prepared to help the global development community address the challenges of putting data and evidence to use for more informed decision-making.

Ten years ago, we began our first AMP implementation with the Government of Ethiopia. Today, we celebrate our programmatic footprint across 25 countries – including 16 with open data portals. We have embedded Aid Management Fellows – data and innovation experts – in government ministries across 15 partner countries, and developed scalable GIS visualization tools and trainings for 10 partner governments, through our award from the USAID Higher Education Solutions Network. In the past year alone, we have modernized the program’s core software (AMP) with new visualization, mapping, and reporting capabilities; developed an IATI Import Tool, allowing for greater data interoperability and use, while reducing the data entry burden; and trained nearly one hundred new users. We are proud to report that nearly half of AMP countries today fund their own software upgrades and support.

Building on our past lessons, and on the goals of the Data Revolution, we have two focus areas for 2017: to grow our presence in new countries, and to accelerate the “graduation” of current partners to full ownership of their programs and technology. For members of the aid management community, we are beginning to release source code on Github from some modules of the AMP software. For current Aid Management Program partners, we aim to accelerate the move from data collection to rigorous analysis for decision-making.

As Development Gateway continues developing new scalable programs – for open contracting, results data, extractives, and others – our AMP experience and lessons from the past decade will guide us. We will continue to combine technology and advisory services: creating tools for daily, practical use, while cultivating and supporting skills and enabling environments for data use. We work hand-in-hand with our partners to set ambitious goals for progress and ownership, while supporting incremental steps to achieve sustainability. Finally, building trust and forging long-term relationships with our partners will always remain central to our approach. These principles will allow us to create the technology and tools that truly position development actors to reach more people and deepen their impact.

This article is excerpted from DG’s 2016 Annual Report, which you may download or view online.