“Basically, we used to have two methods of getting information on water infrastructure... The first… [was] the water department at the municipal level would visit the villages once or twice a year during the months of June and December to do stock-taking of all water points and their functionality status.
Access to safe water is essential to our health and wellbeing.
On September 17th, the UN Foundation’s Social Good Summit took place at the 92nd Street Y in NYC as a kickoff to the 72nd Meeting of the UN General Assembly. Entrepreneurs, experts, activists, and SDG Global Goalkeepers gathered in a call to action about how we will integrate technology and innovation into our vision for 2030.
Open contracting aims to enable governments and citizens to more effectively use procurement data in decision making and monitoring of procurement results. While many governments have made commitments to open contracting (OC), their efforts, in a number of instances, have tended to focus on OC compliance.
This post builds upon a DG contribution to the 2017 OECD Development Cooperation Report, launched on October 17, 2017.
All too often, discussions about managing for results in development fail to specify who is managing, what decisions they are authorized to make, or what results data are being used. Identifying the who and whats is critical, as this decision space informs what types of tools, processes, and information are needed by decision-makers to serve the why: achieving better outcomes.
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.