‘Too often, development efforts have been hampered by a lack of the most basic data about the social and economic circumstances in which people live... Stronger monitoring and evaluation at all levels, and in all processes of development (from planning to implementation) will help guide decision making, update priorities and ensure accountability’ - Bali Communiqué of the High-Level Panel, March 28, 2013
‘Knowledge is Power’ is an adage we are all familiar with. The message being that having and sharing knowledge is the basis for improving an individual’s or organisation’s influence and reputation. The explosion of electronic records, ever growing internet coverage and more mobile phones than there are people means that there is no shortage of information with which to gain this influence and reputation. But information sources are arguably not being utilised as effectively as they should. Either this is because the information is simply not being collected, or methods of analysis are not sufficient. This is why at last year’s UN High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, chaired by the Presidents of Liberia and Indonesia and the UK’s Prime Minister, a data revolution was called for to ‘improve the quality of statistics and information available’.