Who uses development data, how and what for?
Development Initiatives is conducting a data-use survey targeted at anyone who uses development data. Data has huge potential to improve our understanding of the world and, ultimately, to bring about the changes needed to improve people’s lives. The importance of data for evidence-based and impactful journalism is firmly established, and data journalism has emerged as an exciting new field that can play an influential accountability role in driving poverty reduction and sustainable development.
At Development Initiatives we believe in the power of data, and work to promote its use – particularly by decision-makers, and those holding them to account – to ensure that development decisions lead to outcomes that are sustainable. Understanding how data is used in different ways by different people, and the challenges they face using data, is a key part of improving that use – so we are conducting research to find out exactly what these are.
In recent years, development and humanitarian data and statistics from governments, donors, the private sector, civil society and citizens have become increasingly more transparent and accessible. However, unless this data is used it has limited value. Our survey will build a picture of how different people use data to support their work, what impact this has, and also what other information would be useful were they able to access it more easily. We hope this research will provide valuable insight for efforts to improve access to and use of data and statistics, and that this in turn will help facilitate the work of data journalists and others.
We will also be using this information to inform the data and visualisations we provide on the Development Data Hub. This is a new platform for sharing important development data, and we aim to grow it as a comprehensive resource for accessing financial resource-flow data alongside poverty, social and vulnerability indicators. We want to ensure that the data shared on this platform meets the information needs of development decision-makers and accountability actors such as journalists.
Image: The Development Data Hub.
Participate in the survey here.