This post is excerpted from Development Gateway’s June newsletter. Click here to receive DG's newsletter directly to your email.
In the “Data Revolution” for development, results data – outcome and output information – are often cited as key drivers of programming. Behind such terms as “value for money” and “adaptive programming” is the assumption that we can measure progress, and design our approaches based on what has been proven to succeed.
However, are results data good enough, and used well enough, to truly enable more effective development? Through the Results Data Initiative (RDI), we have sought to understand whether current data satisfy the needs of key decision-makers, and how data quality, processes, and use can be improved.
Over the past year, we have spoken with over 450 local actors across Ghana, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka to better understand data needs in health and agriculture sectors. In parallel, our data analysts have scraped project report documents from major donors to “join up” results information. Country-specific findings are forthcoming; the work of our data team can be viewed in an interactive data visualization portal.
This phase of RDI will culminate in an event on July 13 at the OpenGov Hub – which we invite you to attend – as well as various regional meetings in our countries of focus. However, our work on understanding local data needs, and pushing the development community to improve results data collection, sharing, and use, is far from over. We look forward to continuing to champion local priorities, innovative data collection and sharing methods, and data-driven decision-making.