Hype or hope? What you should know about data-driven development

While new technology offers tools to collect and sift through data more efficiently, challenges still remain when it comes to collecting accurate data and disseminating it in a way that is easily accessible to policymakers and other stakeholders.

This week Devex wraps up a monthlong conversation on data and data-driven development. We’ve heard from individuals working in the public, private and civil society sectors about the importance of collecting accurate data, the promise of new technology to leverage data that we collect, and the difficulties that face the global development community in order to know where aid dollars are best spent — and trace the results of those expenditures.

Data is an especially important issue as the aid community attempts to hold countries accountable to meeting the 17 goals and 169 targets laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals.

However, committing to open data is only one step that governments and NGOs can take toward transparency. Systems of comprehensive and disaggregated data collection require additional investment, not to mention the efforts needed to synthesize data to make it easy to understand and use.

Watch the video above to learn more about the current landscape of data-driven development. The piece features Zenia Tata, executive director of global development and international expansion at XPrize; David Soloff, CEO and co-founder of Premise, Elizabeth Stuart, research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute; Alex Ezeh, executive director of the African Population and Health Research Center; Bitange Ndemo, former permanent secretary for the ministry of information and communications in Kenya; Papa Seck, policy specialist at U.N. Women; Kate Higgins, manager of strategy and policy at Civicus; Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of Plan International; and Neal Myrick, director of social impact at Tableau.

With potential to change the trajectory of crises, such as famines or the spread of diseases, the innovative use of data will drive a new era for global development. Throughout this monthlong Data Driven discussion, Devex and partners will explore how the data revolution is changing our approach to achieving development outcomes and reshaping the future of our industry. Help us drive the conversation forward by tagging #DataDriven and @devex.

About the author

  • Julie Espinosa

    Julie Espinosa is the Associate Director of Creative at Devex. She leads a team of visual storytellers who work with reporters all over the globe to cover the topics of humanitarian aid, sustainable development and global health. Prior to joining Devex, Julie worked in documentary film production in Austin, Texas. She holds a master’s degree in communications and cultural studies from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s in visual arts from Harvard University.

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