Image by Harpinder Callocott, Executive Director DI
  • Report

DI's Progress report 2019: Chapter 2

Foreword

A message from our Executive Director and Board

In our penultimate year of DI’s five-year strategy, a year of action, our priority has been to deepen our work with partners to increase our impact and make much-needed progress at a challenging time of incredible external uncertainty.

We find ourselves in a world where progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been slow and commitment to multilateralism is waning. The impacts of the climate crisis are being increasingly felt across the globe and 2019 sits in the warmest decade on record.

In November, we directly witnessed extreme unseasonal rainfall in East Africa, causing loss of life and livelihoods. Those most affected were those most vulnerable − people living in slums, in non-permanent structures where lives were destroyed overnight, and those living in rural areas whose crops were devastated.

We are not making fast enough progress on addressing vulnerability in far too many places. Too many people still do not have access to nutritious food, social protection and essential services. Too many still lack the chance of a decent education that is vital for a good livelihood and a bright future.

Through our work we are seeing clearly that the decisive action needed by political leaders to sustainably end extreme poverty and build the resilience of people who are so desperately in need seems to be diminishing or in some cases wholly absent.

DI’s strategy is to shine a light on these issues and support decision-makers to be more accountable to their people, and accelerate their actions so that progress can be made at the subnational, national and global levels. Our unique focus is on the existence and use of good quality, disaggregated and real-time data that is key for understanding whose need is the greatest, what works, why many are still not progressing out of poverty and what change is needed. Information and evidence are critical for underpinning efforts to change the current systems and structures that perpetuate poverty, and ensure financial resources are being targeted effectively according to need.

Crucially, we believe our success rests on our openness and collaborative spirit; being a trusted friend to those with whom we can deliver shared aims. In 2019 we were proud to join a new multi-stakeholder partnership led by Sightsavers and, in this first year, we helped open up new possibilities to support economic inclusion of people with disabilities in four countries by uniquely identifying and analysing disability data. We entered a partnership with national civil society organisation (CSO) Maison de la Société Civile in Benin and provided analysis and support for the government to help them focus on the needs of their poorest citizens. In Nepal we worked with The Asia Foundation, successfully supporting 30 organisations to increase the availability, access and use of open data for development. And we continued to partner with the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Office for Project Services on the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) hosting consortium where, as the technical lead, DI strengthened IATI’s technical infrastructure and helped facilitate an increase in both publishing and use of IATI data.

Beyond these formal partnerships, we collaborated with many others in 2019 including the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Save the Children, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Development Assistance Committee, Oxfam America and CSO platforms in the UK, Sweden, Canada and Germany. These collaborations enabled us to host events and roundtable discussions including senior level meetings at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings and the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to discuss our research on how effectively subnational financing from donors and governments targets poverty, and improving the financing response to crisis.

This report unpacks our work throughout 2019 in greater detail to show the progress we are so proud to have achieved this year. I hope you will enjoy learning more about DI, our work, and our impact.