Beverley MbuJanuary 15, 2019

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A plethora of high-quality development data exists, but what are its implications?

The Development Gateway Aid Management Platform (AMP) solves the data gap by providing governments across the world with a central platform to track development and aid data, such as donor commitments and disbursements, and visualize it through a dashboard and geographic information system (GIS) map.

Using this data, governments can make informed decisions about resource allocation within their countries. The AMP lays the groundwork for government ownership of development processes, as well as better coordination and management between governments and international partners. By bringing these partners together, the AMP increases transparency and improves effectiveness of international aid.

However, it isn’t always seamless. In Haiti, the Ministry of Planning currently runs the country’s AMP, but to achieve long term sustainability for Haiti, more government agencies will need to understand, use, and make decisions based on development data. How can Development Gateway incentivize government agencies in Haiti, as well as partners with diverse reporting burdens, to continue embracing the AMP? To tackle this problem, Development Gateway asked the LabStorm community for feedback on ways to make development data usable (and useful!) to government audiences and partners alike.

  1. Empowering Government officials is key. After all, the goal of the AMP is to be hosted and promoted by the government. In order to incite widespread use of the AMP within the government, it helps to have a government official who champions the tool. Development Gateway has seen great success in other countries when a particular official embraces the platform and promotes it to other agencies. The AMP could also incentivize government usage as a tool for engaging with their development partners. By opening up a stream of feedback communication, governments could constructively work with partners for a more cohesive outcome.
  2. Problems first, data second. The first step in tackling any development challenge is figuring out what the problem is in the first place. In order to tackle the root of each problem, the AMP data supply must be based on specific needs. Which issues are most pressing to each agency? How can ministry officials learn from each other’s challenges? LabStorm attendees suggested creative problem solving sessions (GovStorms, anyone?) with government officials in other ministries. These officials will have the opportunity not only to share data on their most pressing concerns, but also participate and grapple with it in order to identify ministry-specific priorities.
  3. Collaborate across platforms. There are many development aid platforms, each with a wealth of data. As Development Gateway seeks to link some of these platforms, it should consider the potential risks on the part of platform owners, such as lost privacy or brand dilution. The first step is to ask each platform user what they need, and consider their particular risks. Then, consider the ways that linkage could be beneficial to their particular needs and ways to mitigate their risks. After considering the individual benefits to each platform owner, Development Gateway can approach them with a linkage proposal.

This LabStorm showed us the importance of government buy-in for the widespread adoption of development platforms. Do you have expertise in driving collaboration and government participation? Let us know in the comments or email us at [email protected].

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