Development Co-operation Report 2017

Data for Development

image of Development Co-operation Report 2017

The 2017 volume of the  Development Co-operation Report focuses on Data for Development. “Big Data” and “the Internet of Things” are more than buzzwords: the data revolution is transforming the way that economies and societies are functioning across the planet. The Sustainable Development Goals along with the data revolution are opportunities that should not be missed: more and better data can help boost inclusive growth, fight inequalities and combat climate change. These data are also essential to measure and monitor progress against the Sustainable Development Goals.

The value of data in enabling development is uncontested. Yet, there continue to be worrying gaps in basic data about people and the planet and weak capacity in developing countries to produce the data that policy makers need to deliver reforms and policies that achieve real, visible and long-lasting development results. At the same time, investing in building statistical capacity – which represented about 0.30% of ODA in 2015 – is not a priority for most providers of development assistance.

There is a need for stronger political leadership, greater investment and more collective action to bridge the data divide for development. With the unfolding data revolution, developing countries and donors have a unique chance to act now to boost data production and use for the benefit of citizens. This report sets out priority actions and good practices that will help policy makers and providers of development assistance to bridge the global data divide, notably by strengthening statistical systems in developing countries to produce better data for better policies and better lives.

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Making better use of results data in development co-operation

Under pressure to account for the use of taxpayers’ money, providers of development co-operation tend to report on the immediate outputs of their development co‑operation efforts. By focusing instead on outcomes and change, they can support developing countries in securing the long-term impact envisaged in their own development priorities and, ultimately, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This chapter examines how better use of results data can improve the contribution of development co-operation to national and global development goals. It looks at who produces results data, who uses it and how. The chapter reviews the factors that influence choices about data collection and the unintended consequences these choices can have. Finally, it examines the gap between donor commitments and action. It makes suggestions for a more co-ordinated and country-led approach, utilising the Sustainable Development Goal targets and indicators as a shared framework.

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