The real work of open data requires digging in when the excitement fades, doing the hard and tedious work maintaining and adapting systems, constantly reflecting upon the underlying assumptions of our theories of change around open data, and testing those assumptions again and again with painstaking, rigorous evaluation. A guest post from Dr. Catherine Weaver explores UT Austin's partnership with DG.
Each day, we work in international development because we hope to make things better. While there are highs and lows in the journey, one of the joys in the work is finding those who share similar values and a relentless pursuit of excellence. A reflection on the partnership between AidData and DG.
DG and Global Integrity co-founded the Open Gov Hub 2012 to break through traditional silos between different sectors and organizations, and to catalyze sharing and collaboration. "Because, working together continues to be the best way to address collective social challenges, in our backyards and around the globe."
Out of DG’s twelve core values, five are centered on partners and partnerships. Our ability to achieve sustainability and impact is greatly dependent on our strong partnerships, which expand beyond our expertise alone. From our early days co-designing the Aid Management Platform with the Government of Ethiopia and other partners, to today, partnerships are what make DG, DG.
Building Côte d’Ivoire’s National HIV/AIDs Capabilities to Better Use Data & Tools for Decision-Making at PNLS
Through the DCDJ Fellowship program in Côte d’Ivoire, youth are trained in data science skills and placed in organizations where they can support data use in the fight against HIV/AIDS. At her placement site, Flore Koffi identified the opportunity to enhance the use of the data by creating a regularly updated, real-time, centralized source.
For a long time, gender in development data has been an afterthought. The focus was on the role of data or technology broadly; if gender came up, it was usually in the context of issues that explicitly affected women (maternal health for example.) DG has increasingly sought to prioritize a gender data. By asking “how could we use a gender focus here?,” we have been able to answer a surprisingly broad range of questions.
From DC to Dakar, Bucharest, Cordoba & beyond – DG is led by a diverse group of young professionals. How did we foster & grow our global team? Over the past decade, DG created space to experiment, learn, grow & ultimately to advance & lead. With our expanded global presence, we focused on building a shared organizational culture that aligned with the work itself - agile, innovative, user-centric & fun.
Through dozens of implementations across a variety of sectors, countries & contexts, DG has seen firsthand what makes data, technology & evidence effective, and what can contribute to dormant systems filled with incomplete and unused data. Based on our history, relationships, and perspectives, we realized that DG had a lot to say.
If an organization with an existing culture of learning and adaptation gets lucky, and an innovative funding opportunity appears, the result can be a perfect storm for changing everything. The Results Data Initiative was that perfect storm for DG. RDI confirmed that simply building technology and supplying data is not enough to ensure data is actually used. It also allowed us to test our assumptions and develop new solutions, methodologies & approaches to more effectively implement our work.