Development Data Hub: facilitating access to data and information for a sustained data revolution in Uganda

Development Initiatives (DI) will launch the Development Data Hub in Kampala, Uganda, on the 2 July 2015 – Protea Hotel, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

The Africa Data Consensus, adopted at the High-Level Conference on the Data Revolution in March 2015, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, acknowledges that a “sustained data revolution is needed to drive social, economic and structural transformation in every African country” and that “such a revolution will make it easier to track African countries’ progress towards meeting national and globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a view of leaving no one behind”.

Globally, the centrality of data and information in facilitating sustainable development is now recognised as a key tenet in achieving progress in the post 2015 agenda. Many African countries, including those in East Africa, still grapple with development challenges as poverty and inequality persist. Facilitating access to data and information for citizens, governments, development partners, private sector, and civil society is now viewed as one of the ways to bolster socio-economic growth that leaves no one behind. However, challenges remain despite improvements being made by governments in making data available. Many citizens, civil society organisations (CSOs) and decision makers find it difficult to access timely, relevant and sufficiently disaggregated data. Those who are able to access it quite often lack the capacity to make sense of it, or even effectively use it.

Development Initiatives (DI) has been engaging with multiple stakeholders on the importance of access and use of data and information at the global, regional, national, sub-national and community levels, with the ultimate aim of contributing to the end of extreme poverty by 2030. DI sees access to information as a necessary tool for effective decision making, planning and resource allocation. Even before the call for a data revolution by the High-Level Panel, we were already engaging multiple stakeholders in Uganda under the auspices of the Uganda Open Development Partnership Platform, an initiative aimed at facilitating access to official and non-official data, and lately Joined Up Data Uganda (JUDU), that seeks to facilitate access to joined up data for better decision making at the district level in the country.

DI first launched the Development Data Hub in Washington DC on 17 April 2015. It is a comprehensive online resource for financial and resource flow data alongside poverty, social and vulnerability indicators. It is now being launched in Uganda as part of an effort to contextualise the access to national and sub-national level data. It combines an extensive data store with interactive visualisations enabling the user to chart, map and compare poverty, vulnerability and financial resource flow data at the global, national and sub-national/local government level. It brings together several data sets, allowing cross-country comparisons of data down to sub-national level.

It is envisaged that the Development Data Hub will make it easy for researchers, CSOs, community-based organisations, policy makers, media and other data users to analyse, interpret and make well-informed decisions based on credible evidence. As a highly interactive tool, it will continue to harness the power of technology in facilitating access to data and information for a sustained data revolution in Uganda and across the region.