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  • A Call to Do More with Data | Development Gateway
    heard about the implications for human resources involved the manual work that must be done and the associated costs Greater automation is crucial and standards like IATI play a key role Both are evolving 2 In the fervor to create liberate and improve the supply of data let s never forget Open data for whom Open data for what Aid effectiveness doesn t just underpin greater accountability here in the US but it is vital for the people whom this assistance serves in developing countries who need this information for their own public investment decisions This underlines the need for the essential but unglamorous work of building national statistical systems It is also crucial for the citizens who need this information to participate in feedback loops and have a greater voice in how resources are being used Listening to those on the ground tell us what sort of data would be most useful to them is both the smart thing and the right thing to do And we know that the more local the audience and the decisions to be made the more granular the data probably needs to be In developing countries more data more tools and stronger skills to analyze and interpret data still isn t sufficient We re talking about how to embed data in the decision making processes of leaders such that data use becomes routine and expected And from the bottom up how to make citizen participation in the creation and consumption of data also part of everyday life 3 The US Government is doubling down on investments to advance the open data agenda From the placement of Presidential Innovation Fellows in government agencies to helping local communities work with Foreign Assistance Dashboard data to sparking new innovations to engaging the open data hacker community

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/03/10/a-call-to-do-more-with-data/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Liberating 35 Years of USAID Experience | Development Gateway
    should be Yet despite recent work to create a new DEC Application Programming Interface API USAID evaluation information ultimately lies within a warren of PDFs As Christopher Ingraham asked Washington Post readers what if the solutions to all our problems are buried in PDFs that nobody reads While researchers at CGDev have reviewed DEC PDFs the likelihood that others have or will is rather low According to the World Bank only 13 percent of its documents are downloaded more than 250 times one third haven t been downloaded at all Ever Downloadable available PDFs are great but we can do better What if we could transform that locked down information into easy to search machine readable formats That capability is already being developed at least for USAID To liberate DEC information AidData is piloting a new dataset under its ongoing partnership with the USAID Global Development Lab Higher Education Solutions Network HESN the dataset will be launched by USAID in the near future at usaid gov data These machine readable data will provide new levels of access for researchers data scientists and practitioners to mine analyze and create new knowledge from old lessons In practice this means that the next time CGD analyzes USAID evaluations they will be able to run free text queries through many evaluation PDFs searching for the use of specific evaluation methods in an automated way This could make possible a meta analysis of USAID evaluations to analyze how evaluation methods have changed over time which methods or types of projects tend to receive favorable unfavorable evaluations or other research questions of interest Of course simply unleashing this information doesn t mean we ve solved everything We still need to learn how to effectively interpret data for better decision making and creatively employ it to spark

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/03/03/liberating-35-years-of-usaid-experience/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Blog | Development Gateway
    Continue reading Open Contracting for Open Development Insights and Applications January 06 2015 Dustin Homer Rebecca Latourell If your mother gives you 10 to go to the store to buy a bottle of milk you have to show her Here is the milk and here is the change Likewise we are obliged to show taxpayers exactly what we are doing with their money María Margarita La Paca Zuleta Director of Colombia Compra Eficiente Continue reading Open Contracting Going Granular for Increased Transparency and Accountability December 30 2014 Dustin Homer Rebecca Latourell Knowing where aid projects are located is important for making smart allocation and evaluation decision but to know what is actually happening on the ground you can t stop there Typically project implementers are the only ones with knowledge of detailed project information While contracts also offer a wealth of data points about who is implementing which activities where and with how much money most contracts are either not publicly available or not easily downloadable Continue reading Lessons from Nepal Getting government data to everyone else December 16 2014 Paige Kirby This is the third and final post in a three part series relaying the findings from a study of government data use in Nepal Read the first post and second post Continue reading Live from Nepal at AMPWS2014 December 12 2014 Jean Louis Sarbib This week Development Gatewayand the Government of Nepal have been hosting the 7th Annual Aid Management Program Good Practices Workshop Below are the opening remarks from DG CEO Jean Louis Sarbib stay tuned for more blog posts about the workshop and follow along on Twitter with AMPWS2014 Excellency Mr Suman Prasad Sharma Nepal Finance Secretary distinguished delegates dear collegues and partners Continue reading Lessons from Nepal Data Incentives Champions December 09 2014 Paige Kirby

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/blog/page10/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Aid information matters for U.S. citizens, too – transparency efforts and domestic audiences | Development Gateway
    these proposed ideas and methods This internal domestic accountability is not just a means to track where taxpayer money is going it can also help to spearhead and accelerate better practices abroad by ensuring that money is spent both effectively and efficiently Organizations like Oxfam America educate the public about the importance of foreign aid and how little of the US federal budget is actually devoted to foreign assistance Oxfam is just one example of many organizations seeking to mobilize interest on the part of the US public regarding various pieces of legislation such as the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2013 With similarly titled bills in review in both the House and Senate the discussion around these bills has been notably non partisan both bills were co introduced by both a Democrat and Republican respectively and support for both bills revolves around issues such as accountability and transparency which transcend party lines In addition the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network MFAN published their reform agenda earlier this year The Way Forward A Reform Agenda for 2014 and Beyond which emphasizes accountability and country ownership to make US aid more effective abroad Where do we go from here accountability and country ownership in context With aid effectiveness increasingly entering U S discussions on improving aid practices how can the U S advance the impact and effectiveness of its aid efforts abroad MFAN calls for more transparency evaluation and learning to help the U S to achieve better results and lead the charge on global standards As a global standard bearer and the world s single largest donor the U S should lead reforms in policy and innovations in practice to catalyze change and achieve sustainable results MFAN Reform Proposal pg 2 In addition MFAN recognizes that efforts to embrace accountability without concurrently helping to improve government ownership of development in their own countries will be futile for ensuring sustainability in the long term Country ownership is equally if not more vital for the long term effectiveness of US development assistance efforts abroad But what do these pillars of country ownership and accountability look like in practice Earlier this year AidData participated in discussions with the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network the Congressional Caucus on Effective Foreign Assistance and the RESULTS network to place these principles into context with concrete examples of how country ownership and accountability are being realized in countries such as Nepal and Uganda among others One early stage example has been AidData s collaboration with USAID s Global Development Lab and seven partner country governments to make aid information more transparent by helping to visualize the answers to questions such as who is doing what and where As more hyper local information on funding for development becomes publicly available this data serves as a public good for citizens in the US and abroad to use it to hold their governments accountable for results By being built upon the foundation of country owned aid information systems such as

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/02/24/aid-information-matters-for-us-citizens-too-transparency-efforts-and-domestic-audiences/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Remittances – What’s Next? | Development Gateway
    to stagnate remittances are a resilient financial resource Even more good news Remittances work As primarily personal transactions from migrants to friends and family remittances tend to be well targeted to recipients needs Some studies have even shown remittances directly reducing the poverty ratio in low income countries such as Bangladesh Ghana and Uganda Now for bad news The poor are still getting short shrift In 2009 the G 8 pledged to cut remittance costs by 5 over the next 5 years As of the third quarter of 2014 worldwide costs hovered at 7 9 regionally South Asian and LAC transfers cost about 6 while Sub Saharan African costs more than 11 While these figures may seem like small potatoes consider this for an African sent US 100 that s 11 immediately gone to pay fees How can we change the numbers Use technology Better access to information empowers remittance senders and receivers to maximize effectiveness and minimize costs Together with the World Bank Development Gateway created a customizable platform for tracking and comparing remittance prices Currently deployed as Remittance Prices Worldwide Send Money Africa and Mondasoldiacasa this platform allows individuals to compare costs and timeframes for transfer firms and calculates the total amount that the recipient would receive based on various starting amounts Raise awareness The World Bank through Project Greenback 2 0 has launched a grassroots campaign amongst migrant communities around the world to raise awareness about the difference in cost and speed between transfer firms encouraging comparison and cooperation between migrants remittance service providers and public authorities Press governments to walk the talk Many governments have embraced the G8 call to lower remittance costs India the world s largest recipient of remittances recently called on G20 leaders to take steps to make the 5x5 goal a reality

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/02/19/remittances-what-s-next/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Launching a Geospatial Data Revolution | Development Gateway
    not unintentional Much of the data in the international ecosystem stem from donor agency requests or requirements and are often funded by one off surveys or data calls As we shift towards Sustainable Development Goals it s time to ensure data works for government partners and not just for high level statistical reporting This means matching data collection granularity with government needs level of decentralization national planning objectives medium term expenditure frameworks and so forth This also means working with countries to define their own priorities within the SDGs in a consultative context centric approach as our colleagues from the Gates Foundation have recently suggested 2 Equipping countries with data tools and skills Enabling country governments to perform their own analyses on datasets independent of external consultants per the request of domestic decision makers is key to ensuring the Geospatial Data Revolution can work for everyone Building out GIS capacity within planning and implementing ministries and sharing datasets and results with governments should be a priority for development partners country governments should also invest more heavily in their statistical systems with an emphasis on analysis versus reporting requests 3 Shifting the culture of data reporting to a culture of data use This is perhaps the most difficult challenge to tackle as it often requires an internal shift in process and mindset As demonstrated by a 2014 study of the Government of Nepal major blockers of data use within country governments include heavy reporting responsibilities low incentives technological and skill gaps and nonexistent processes Taking these challenges and lessons to heart I m calling on agencies organizations and individuals to Focus on governments as data consumers not just data providers Emphasize data timeliness and granularity for country use not global monitoring Align data collection efforts with country results frameworks Use aid

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/02/17/launching-a-geospatial-data-revolution/ (2016-02-15)
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  • DataRev Round-Up | Development Gateway
    an important phrase we re all familiar with but sometimes is left behind when we start talking about things like scalability It also means involving local communities in feedback loops from the start One thing that is on many local community s plates is building resilience against the oncoming effects of climate change in their community Following up to the UNFCCC COP20 in December is a landscape management framework called Managing for Resilience which states it is scalable because the framework relies on local context If you re following along with progress on the Data Revolution then you surely shouldn t miss the three issue papers drafted to make the revolution a reality The three papers focus on data innovation public private partnerships for data and data literacy and promotion of data use They ve welcomed feedback on the papers so run on over to play your part Have a little bit of time on your hands Not really but love learning anyway Lucky for you there are a few options that are quick and accessible from wherever you get Wi Fi Check out the Engineering for Change webinar series Then after that check out USAID s course on How

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/02/13/datarev-round-up/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Staging a Geospatial Data Revolution | Development Gateway
    Leste to name a few What is missing Up to 99 of a country s financial picture Undoubtedly for countries where development assistance comprises a significant part of government budgets mapping aid is a boon for policy and allocation decisions But for many middle income countries like Indonesia ODA represents an extremely small proportion of government budget In these cases mapping aid information is useful to a point but leaves most of the big picture obscured It s time to move beyond development assistance mapping and towards full resource tracking domestic budget private sector investment and remittance flows enabling governments to view the complete picture of investments within their borders DG with its AidData partners are working closely with the Follow the Money Network to explore these frontiers Finding the needs What is going well Through increased census availability World Development Indicators Measure DHS and other multi national sources more information than ever is available on who needs what and where As we aim for a world without extreme poverty or try to achieve the last mile of any SDG be it universal educational enrollment or the complete eradication of diseases like polio timely sub national data are required to guide program implementation and put governments in the drivers seat What is missing Timeliness Often data are collected only every 5 10 years leaving resource allocators and program implementers aiming for an invisible moving target based on guesswork or extrapolation from prior trends Greater investments in more frequent sub national data collection efforts and improved use of technological advancements to drive down collection costs are both needed Sharing results What is going well Some organizations are making progress showing the way forward for the rest For example the Millennium Challenge Corporation publishes rich data on its performance including target and

    Original URL path: http://www.developmentgateway.org/2015/02/11/staging-a-geospatial-data-revolution/ (2016-02-15)
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