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  • Blog | Development Gateway
    to allocate financial resources more effectively to improve development outcomes and end poverty Continue reading Antarctica Heats Up While Tanzania Freezes Data Publication June 02 2015 Taryn Davis Many people took to social media when word got out that it was warmer in Antarctica at a whopping 63 degrees Fahrenheit a record temperature for them and a record for number of people who wish they were in Antarctica Continue reading Talking Open Data and Fiscal Transparency at IODC 2015 May 28 2015 Paige Kirby Over the next couple of days we re looking forward to discussing open data successes challenges and impact to date at the International Open Data Conference Continue reading Why Does DG Use Scrum May 26 2015 Denise Butcher innovation Have you ever wondered how the software you use gets built We at Development Gateway use the Scrum approach to develop our software Scrum is a group of software development methods that wrap around existing engineering practices Continue reading Unlocking Old Problems with New Tools May 22 2015 Benjamin Arancibia Based on data from the World Bank found here there are an estimated 60 more million men than women on this planet This difference is the highest ever recorded and is driven by preference for sons in India and China Case closed no need to do further analysis right Well not so fast Continue reading IATI and Country Systems DG Working Paper May 21 2015 Josh Powell aid management This blog post introduces a new DG working paper on the use of IATI data in country Aid Information Managements Systems AIMS The working paper aims to help inform discussions at the IATI TAG and Steering Committee Meetings to be held in Ottawa from May 30 June 2 Continue reading Parasites and Looting AKA Corruption May 19 2015

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/blog/page6/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Governments as Open Data Users: The Future of IATI | Development Gateway
    with the exponential growth of development actors For example the Gates Foundation which is a key candidate for IATI import in each of DG s five IATI integration partners was of particular interest to attendees due to the Foundation s combination of large country portfolios and very limited government engagement Similarly significant interest was expressed in obtaining both GAVI and the Global Fund data One critical blind spot in existing IATI data is information on investments from China or other emerging partners Many governments capture some data on China in their AMPs but the lack of Chinese aid data is still a significant challenge for the global aid management community Open Data CAN save time and money The Madagascar Delegation shared that in the past the government would routinely pay 40 000 for ad hoc studies by consultants to determine how much aid for what and by whom was coming to the country After procuring its Aid Management Platform AMP through DG and systematically collecting funding data from its Development Partners DPs government desk officers can now generate these reports in minutes This anecdote illustrates the tangible quantifiable impact that IATI can have as more countries use IATI data systematically and as more donors report to IATI In the same way that AMP has decreased data collection and analysis costs for 25 countries in tracking traditional donors IATI can decrease the costs of securing information from INGOs foundations and other development actors who fail to report to country systems IATI data need to improve and there is reason to think they will Issues like forward looking budget data national planning objectives data completeness on off budget status and more were all discussed by country delegations In particular the experience of Rwanda dramatically underscored the need for better data quality when attempting an initial ambitious import of many IATI activity fields only a small percentage were successfully matched on first attempt to a project recorded in the country system Given that this Rwanda IATI pilot was a well resourced collaborative effort between an AIMS technical provider a high capacity aid coordination unit and embedded UNDP experts but still faced significant roadblocks it is unreasonable to expect that other countries will independently and easily pick up and use IATI data without significant donor improvements to data completeness quality and harmonized categorization Our prior experiences in DRC were quite similar The Secretariat is aggressively promoting better data quality and the 2 01 standard begins to enforce stricter publishing requirements but this is just a start In particular we would like to see more required transaction fields clear indication of on off budget status and strict requirements for publishing IATI data in the official language of the recipient country When partner countries drive the discussion IATI is more likely to benefit and grow This was the highlight for me Having attended multiple TAG and Steering Committee Meetings I ve often been struck by the reality that partner country voices are comparably quiet in key

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/03/31/governments-as-open-data-users-the-future-of-iati/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Ensuring Data Works Where it Counts: IATI and Country Systems | Development Gateway
    in AMP or ii decrease the level of effort needed to sustain current data quality Equip our government partners with the tools and skills needed to evaluate and validate IATI data for the selected DPs and automatically exchange of information between AMP and IATI registry Update the governments data management plans to i reflect that IATI data rather than direct country office reporting will be used for the selected DPs on a sustainable ongoing basis ii document which field s should be manually updated if missing from IATI feeds e g sub national locations national planning objectives sub sectors etc iii identify who is responsible for manual field updates Establish standards and guidelines that the government can share with all partners These standards would document data quality improvements that once made could lead to default IATI use instead of direct reporting What we hope to learn that could then be applied elsewhere In many ways we all understand that donors and partners needs are often different And it may well be that IATI may not always respond to all the AMP users needs A better understanding of these different needs and the best way in which IATI can reasonably meet them would therefore have a positive impact on future IATI development and would improve the use of IATI data by donors and countries This work will represent the most intensive use to date of IATI data in country systems which should provide a wealth of lessons for future IATI use Some of the questions we hope to explore include What benefits time savings data coverage quality improvements can governments expect from using high quality IATI data What changes should be made to the IATI standard for improved usefulness and usability in country systems What barriers technical process skills cultural discourage

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/01/27/ensuring-data-works-where-it-counts-iati-and-country-systems/ (2016-02-15)
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  • IATI and Country Systems: Data Evaluation Results | Development Gateway
    much more frequent monthly quarterly basis what s more DP and country fiscal years often differ This means missing date fields render IATI data largely useless in a country setting In the data we surveyed Chad Cote d Ivoire and Burkina Faso each were missing 10 15 of their transaction dates while Madagascar was missing 23 and Senegal 28 2 Timeliness The IATI Secretariat requests that all DPs report to the standard quarterly However out of all the IATI country publisher combinations selected for import 48 publish only annual 36 publish quarterly 12 publish monthly and 4 publish six monthly data As AMPs are frequently used to generate quarterly ad hoc or future oriented reports quarterly reporting should be seen as the absolute minimum standard for IATI reporters DPs need to hold up their end of the bargain 3 Future Oriented Financial Data Information around Planned Disbursements are frequently missing from IATI reporting only 52 of IATI country publisher combinations include any forward looking transaction data In several AMP countries on the other hand DPs are asked to enter planned disbursements for the upcoming fiscal year as part of the national budgeting and planning process Providing multi year funding projections may be infeasible for many IATI reporters but at a minimum planned disbursements for the upcoming 12 months should be included in IATI publication 4 Sector information This high level information was missing in approximately 39 1 of the activities in Burkina Faso s portfolio 38 of Chad s IATI portfolio 14 66 of Cote d Ivoire s portfolio 15 23 of Madagascar s portfolio and 14 65 of Senegal s IATI portfolio While sub sector information is not included in the standard top level sector information is a component of both IATI and AMP data for national planning purposes 5 Sub national location information While required for non national activities in nearly every AMP this granular information largely absent from the IATI registry in countries covered by this study notable exception being the African Development Bank s IATI data These data are key for country systems as Governments attempt to use AIMS information to inform sub national funding allocations and are critical in linking aid and budget systems in country 6 Project dates These fields are often missing in the IATI data reviewed At a minimum one start date planned or actual depending upon whether the activity has commenced and one completion date planned or actual depending upon whether the activity has been completed should be included for each IATI activity Governments cannot effectively plan future expenditures if project life cycles are opaque 7 Funding Percentages For some reporters e g the Gates Foundation that deploy activities across multiple countries the absence of reliable country percentages presented challenges in tracking fund allocation at the national level In some cases activities included multiple countries with the available percentages summing to less or more than 100 while other activities percentage estimates were entirely absent This means that it is impossible for

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/03/12/iati-and-country-systems-data-evaluation-results/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Learning our lessons as we shape the post 2015 "Data Revolution" | Development Gateway
    wheel As an organization with experience shaping and implementing data movements such as the International Aid Transparency Initiative and Open Contracting Development Gateway urges the United Nations to learn from the following five lessons while shaping the post 2015 Data Revolution As the Masai say make haste slowly change won t happen overnight Adoption of processes for data production takes time The institutional learning and buy in required for data production requires a multi directional selling of its importance and benefits and the same process often needs repeating for data use once critical mass on supply has been reached With this need for selling in mind it only follows that Incentives are key Whether encouraging the conception of innovative ideas following new good practice guidelines or fostering end product uptake and use there must be solid reasons why stakeholders should participate Ideally these incentives will be easily explainable logical and co developed But incentives are not the only aspect that should be co created knowledge and information solutions should also be Implement early and often No policy or practice fresh off the shelf is going to perfectly fit every or likely any scenario By following a cycle of implementation evaluation and incorporation of lessons learned into the next rollout a new solution can become a good solution To move from new to good it s important that implementers Solicit stakeholder feedback Over the past decade at the core of DG s approach has been collaborative long lasting partnerships with domestic governments to ensure that projects actually fit the unique needs of end users While the scope of the Data Revolution may preclude the solicitation and incorporation of all possible feedback stakeholder voice should be actively sought encouraged and taken into account as much as possible This feedback is especially important

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2014/11/24/learning-our-lessons-as-we-shape-the-post-2015-data-revolution/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Lessons from Nepal: Data, Incentives, & Champions | Development Gateway
    Nepal study suggested that data use is a formality in government planning and reporting We don t write this as criticism every government company NGO and individual is guilty of using lackluster evidence to justify agendas or assumptions But change making evidence based decision making happens when policymakers objectively rely on good data Our study suggests that incentives do not promote robust data use inside the government Incentives do encourage government officers to collect aggregate and report on data but much more effort goes into making reports than actually interacting with information Some senior officials suggested that this is because data providers and line ministries do not know the value of statistics But even at senior levels data aggregators are not making analytical products with data driven recommendations There is a general sense that data analysis should happen outside of the government in think tanks universities or donor offices But in any context the people who allocate government resources should understand interact with and use data to make decisions and they need reasons to do so What to do about it Many of our interviews yielded calls for government leaders to better support both verbally and materially statistical development and data use in the government According to our respondents these efforts could range from building up technical resources data management systems statistical analysis tools etc to training to financial incentives and so on Of course we will not presume to recommend structural changes to Nepal s public service which has a long and storied history But in the short term we do suggest that the development community can begin to address this incentive challenge by fostering high level data champions within GoN For example one potential champion a senior official in an influential sector department said Data is not meant

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2014/12/09/lessons-from-nepal-data-incentives-champions/ (2016-02-15)
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  • A Call for Action, Not Opening | Development Gateway
    and how we were a much bigger crowd than Open Data enthusiasts could have imagined in years past It seems we re passed the adoption phase of Open Data and are able to convey the benefits of data transparency to more a more mainstream audience and outside the typical Open Data advocacy groups As a community however we re not yet in a place where we can see what Open Data has done on a global scale to improve social outcomes There are certainly traces of impact and different groups are trying to figure out how to measure it I ve been keeping tabs on the IODC Twitter feed since the event and a lot of anecdotes about Open Data impact have been mentioned However sustained impact will require turning these anecdotes into application and action Instead of searching for impact I d like to see the Open Data community highlight groups that are actively using Open Data to further their existing initiatives and are seeing results and impact in the process IODC 2015 had a large focus on making Open Data usable including a great techy session for data standards best practices As Open Data becomes more usable and

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/07/16/call-for-action-not-opening/ (2016-02-15)
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  • What Makes Big Data Good Data? | Development Gateway
    out what kind of decisions they are trying to make Dashboards may point out how bad their data is and spur a desire to collect better data A good dashboard can help improve and speed up decision making when users are collecting the right data and integrating it into regular processes For example one US city s parks department detailed how dashboards were able to help them monitor their work while on a tight budget On the blogosphere one author is unimpressed by the quality of data that comes out of program monitoring perhaps a good public dashboard will spark a desire to improve M E data quality The argument is sound if you want to learn from the data collect you must make sure the data is sound Erica Hagen of GroundTruth Initiative argues that it doesn t just matter if you have good data but it is essential to consider how that data got to be there and which perspective it reflects What is important or understood from a local s perspective might be disregarded or misinterpreted by someone who doesn t understand the context For instance OpenStreetMap geotagging starts at the street level and is shaped by

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/07/09/what-makes-big-data-good-data/ (2016-02-15)
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