When data — particularly government data — is made relevant and available, we as “infomediaries” have an opportunity to create public value. As a community of data users, we are becoming more savvy at turning datasets into information, and information into advocacy for better public resource allocation, transparency and accountability, and good governance.
When it comes to open data, the devil is in the details. Publishing data in an open format is admirable -- but in order to be valuable, the data must meet basic criteria for formatting and standardization. That’s why DG is contributing its open source jOCDS Validator to the international open contracting community. Tested with millions of records, we’re excited to make this easy-to-use, secure tool available to the public.
It didn’t surprise me when I learned that -- when Ministry of Finance officials conduct trainings on the Aid Management Platform for Village Chiefs, CSOs and citizens throughout the districts of Malawi -- officials are almost immediately asked:
“What were the results of these projects? What were the outcomes?”
The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda offers the promise of new technologies, big data sources, and increased government statistical capacity for data-driven policy and progress. However, we cannot assume that more data will result in a better world.
In 2005, the international community came together to adopt the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, built upon the idea that “aid could - and should - be producing better impacts.” Improving effectiveness means aligning development assistance with the needs and priorities of the partner country government, as well as coordinating activities among partners
In 2003, an undergraduate student at the College of William and Mary set out to write his honors thesis on the efforts of international development organizations to help communities adapt to and mitigate the effects of global climate change. His research quickly hit a roadblock: existing public data on foreign aid flows was not precise enough to enable his analysis.
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