This Story from the Field comes from Stephen Davenport, Development Gateway’s Senior Director for Business Development/Partnerships:
In April and May, I had the opportunity to represent Development Gateway at three events focused on transparency. One of these events was the Open Aid Partnership (OAP) Workshop in Stockholm. The event was very hands on. There were about 25-30 participants who each brought datasets of their activities in different parts of the world. My colleague, Josh Powell, did a great job co-leading (with our partners at the World Bank) a session on how to geocode the data and then put it all on one map to see where everyone is working. It was great for everyone to see the value of geocoding and learn how easy it can be to learn and do.
The Open Aid Partnership brings development partners together to enhance the openness and effectiveness of development assistance. The partnership focuses on mapping and technology for improved aid transparency, better monitoring and targeting of development programs, and increasing accountability by empowering citizens to provide feedback and use open aid data themselves.
I also had the chance to present tools and technology available to support transparency to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Steering Committee in Paris, along with Development Gateway’s Guillaume Delalande, who is doing a lot to ensure that our country-level work reflects the ongoing global discussions. The Steering Committee meeting was a great opportunity to show how IATI data can be made more usable and to highlight the benefits of mapping data. Not only were we able to show the importance of technology in transparency to those already involved in IATI, but a number of other organizations attended and were able to see the value of IATI in their own work.
Development Gateway has focused mainly on transparency with respect to aid flows, but we recognize the importance of connecting that with public sector transparency more broadly. I hosted a booth at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Annual Conference to present the Aid Management Platform (AMP) and AidData, which was a great step towards being more involved in the open government arena. The OGP is a multilateral initiative to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. This meeting was important because the governments who have committed to the initiative announced their strategic plans, and we will start to see practical outputs coming from the OGP. There is no set way to achieve the goals of the OGP; it’s more like a race to the top, which, although perhaps chaotic, allows for creativity and innovation. Overall, it was a great conference, and I enjoyed meeting several different organizations that I hope we’ll be able to work with in the future.
Representatives from Development Gateway: an IREX Venture (DG) will be attending the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) from September 5-9 in Kigali, Rwanda to highlight two projects: the Visualizing Insights on African Agriculture (VIFAA) project and the Farmer-Centric Data Governance Models project.
In Episode 2 of "Data…for What?!," a podcast series from Development Gateway: an IREX Venture (DG) which explores our new strategic plan, Josh Powell met with experts from DG and IREX to discuss DG’s expansion into the education, media and disinformation, and youth sectors. The conversations explore the most pressing challenges and greatest opportunities for data and technology to positively impact these sectors and discuss how these trends are likely to play out in the years ahead. Based on these trends, the experts explain the unique fit for DG’s skills and specific opportunities for collaboration that align with the vision of DG’s partnership with IREX, which has a long and successful history working in each sector.
To help contextualize the new Strategic Plan, we are launching a podcast series called Data… for What?! This series consists of 5 episodes in Josh Powell and Vanessa Goas talk to DGers throughout the organization – as well as collaborators within our strategic partner, IREX - about how and why we prioritized the various elements of the new strategy. In this first episode, we talk to Kristin Lord, President and CEO of IREX about how our partnership fits into the Strategic Plan; and to Aleks Dardelli, Executive Vice President of IREX and Chair of DG’s Board of Directors, about the process of putting the Plan together at this opportune, yet precarious, global moment.