How can “joined-up” geospatial data support the battle against HIV/AIDS, by promoting evidence-based decision-making? Last month, Development Gateway joined our partners at the AidData Center for Development Policy in launching the Côte d’Ivoire (CIV) open geospatial data center (OpenDCH), supported by USAID-CIV and PEPFAR.
The OpenDCH/GeoCenter aims to address key challenges related to the country’s data ecosystem. In particular, the initiative will address gaps in data supply, by connecting key HIV/AIDS and geospatial datasets; and data demand, by fostering analytical capacity and identifying use cases for applying this information. Through OpenDCH/GeoCenter, we aim to create and foster the necessary data infrastructure and tools to support analysis on where impacted communities are located, and what gaps around HIV/AIDS testing and treatment exist.
We aim to make this initiative useful – and sustainable. In order to achieve this, a key focus throughout implementation will be on technical and procedural interoperability. Not only will the tools and systems developed be able to “join up” with other tools and datasets, most notably the Ministry of Health’s DHIS2; it should also complement similar HIV/AIDS initiatives, including those of UNAIDS and MCC/PEPFAR.
By reducing barriers to data access; addressing challenges around data quality and sharing; and supporting the development of analytical skills and “smart demand” for geospatial information, the OpenDCH/GeoCenter project will serve as an essential Data Collaborative “Hub” in CIV. We look forward to sharing progress and lessons learned in building and sustaining the GeoCenter throughout the coming months.