Resource Spotlight: The Data Revolution: Finding the Missing Millions

Photo courtesy of Trevor Snapp,CapacityPlus/IntraHealth International
Photo courtesy of Trevor Snapp,
CapacityPlus/IntraHealth International

Data are not just about measuring changes, they also facilitate and catalyse that change. Of course, good quality numbers will not change people’s lives in themselves. But to target the poorest systematically, to lift and keep them out of poverty, even the most willing governments cannot efficiently deliver services if they do not know who those people are, where they live and what they need. Nor do they know where their resources will have the greatest impact.

This report sets out the evidence that, even when people are counted, the counting is frequently not good enough. What is assumed to be an empirical fact – a statistic – is too often the result not of direct observation but of inference, assumptions or extrapolation, or political negotiation. In sub-Saharan Africa, some 133,000 women may have died from childbirth-related causes in 2013, or twice as many. We cannot be sure.

We argue that good quality, relevant, accessible and timely data will allow willing governments to extend services into communities which until now have been blank spaces in planning processes, and to implement policies more efficiently, meaning that a data revolution could, in the medium term, pay for itself.

Here is the link for The Data Revolution: Finding the Missing Millions.

You can also get more information in the Monitoring & Evaluation subject area.

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