This post is excerpted from Development Gateway’s quarterly newsletter. Click here to receive DG's newsletter directly to your email.
In biology, ecosystems are a group of organisms defined by a network of interactions. In the international realm, a data ecosystem can also be defined as a network of interactions – with governments, organizations, and individuals variously producing and using development information.
Keeping with this biological analogy, the “organisms” in our data ecosystem are dynamic entities: the data ecosystem is not binary, but dynamic in which all actors produce and use data for decision-making. This is especially true for government actors. While easy to accept as producers of data, it can be easy to overlook the numerous government officials who also use data to make impactful policy decisions.
To foster a stronger data ecosystem, Development Gateway continues to engage with governments to support country ownership of data for better decision-making; with international organizations dedicated to improving data interoperability and uptake; and with innovative initiatives that work to close the feedback loop between governments and citizens.
However, our focus is not only an external one; as Development Gateway’s 2012-2014 Annual Report shows, DG has come a long way over the past three years; a refreshed website offers a visual representation of this evolution. As the world looks ahead to post-2015, DG will be steadily working to nurture a healthy data ecosystem for all.