What Will It Take To Improve the Quality and Utility of Development Results?

The international aid community is serious about measuring its impact. Multilateral and bilateral agencies in particular spend a great deal of effort and money gathering results data. Collected by a range of implementers and evaluators, this information is used to conduct evaluations, populate databases, and - ostensibly - to ensure that aid is allocated to the places where it can achieve the most impact.

However, is results data good enough – and is it used well enough – to really increase the efficacy of development finance?

Development Gateway is pleased to announce a new initiative, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that will help the international development community understand how to increase the quality and utility of development results data.

Our effort will seek to answer two broad questions: First, what will it take to make existing results data better and more useful for governments and donors? And second, how can existing results data be compared, shared, and used more effectively?

By addressing these questions, our end goal is to demonstrate that better-quality results data is obtainable and that there are immediate, practical applications for results data that can improve decision-making processes at every level of the aid cycle.

The effort will have two major components: (1) a detailed mapping of results data collection management, dissemination and use in three countries, and (2) a “crosswalk” of results indicator data from major multilateral and bilateral donors in two sectors.

By this time next year, we will provide a roadmap that development partners can follow to improve the quality and comparability of results data, as well as use and share existing results data more effectively.

Ensuring comparable, accessible, and usable results data are key to post-2015 success. DG looks forward to commencing this big picture look at the results agenda, with the support of the Gates Foundation, and we invite feedback and future collaboration to improve development efforts.