Change agents in countries around the world are embracing the “data revolution” as a way to accelerate development in key sectors, including health, education and nutrition.
As momentum around leveraging data intensifies through the proliferation of dashboards, key performance indicators, scorecards, big data programs and data analytics, the risks increase that resource-constrained governments and social entrepreneurs will be forced to embrace and respond to data-for-development tools and initiatives without adequate planning or data uptake strategies. In many cases, external actors seeking to promote data-driven approaches to development can do more harm than good, inadvertently pushing artificial solutions in search of problems on local change agents, leading to a failure to solve practical challenges at the local level.
R4D’s approach puts data users at the center of all efforts. We develop tools — including dashboards, scorecards and performance metrics — in a way that is designed to solve well-articulated and practical challenges that decision makers face, while also transforming raw data into insights that can be used to inform action.
R4D experts conduct user research, problem identification and the development of cogent theories of change for how data can help solve practical challenges facing our partners in the health, education and nutrition sectors. Put plainly, we don’t measure for measurement’s sake; we instead leverage data and data-informed strategies to solve real-world problems.