Tag: Data


Using “Value of Information” Concepts to Prioritize the Data Revolution

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I recently proposed that any assessment of a country’s statistical capacity be structured around the functions of government, such as those offered by the UN statistical office here.  When this list is fully expanded, it includes all of the data that advanced countries like the US or Japan use to manage government and inform citizens.  Most developing countries will fall below such an ambitious standard.  So how should investments in improved statistical capacity be prioritized?

GAVI Moves on Better Data Verification

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Data quality and rigorous measurement is important for any funder using performance-based or results-based aid. Poorly measured or self-reported data are often subject to major biases.

The Data Revolution Hits Forests

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When a tree falls in a forest, does anyone realize that it’s fallen? You might be surprised to learn that until now, the answer to this question has basically been “no.”  

Donors and a Data Revolution

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The High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda calls for a “data revolution,” a new international initiative to improve the quality and scope of statistics and information available to citizens and policymakers. 

New Data, Same Story: Disease Still Concentrated in Middle-Income Countries

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This is a joint post with Yuna Sakuma.

The majority of the world’s sick live in middle-income countries (MIC) – mainly Pakistan, India, Nigeria, China and Indonesia (or PINCI), according to new data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.  Sound familiar? Andy Sumner, Denizhan Duran, and I came to the same conclusion in a 2011 paper, but we used 2004 disease burden data, which didn’t provide an up-to-date view of reality.  So I was pleased to see that our findings still hold based on IHME’s 2010 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) estimates.  

You Say You Want a (Data) Revolution?

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This is a joint post with Alex Ezeh.

The long-awaited high-level panel report on the post-2015 development agenda called for a “data revolution” and proposes a new international initiative to get the job done.  The proposed public-private initiative, called the Global Partnership on Development Data, would be responsible for developing a strategy to address gaps in critical information, improving data availability, and ensuring that quality baseline information is in place to measure and define progress against established development goals.

The Global Fund Opens Up

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The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria recently made it easier to find out where their money is going with the launch of a new, online grant portfolio portal.   This welcome and timely tool comes amid the Global Fund’s ambitious replenishment process that asks donors for $15 billion over the next three years to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria – a considerable amount that totals twice the Fund’s average annual disbursements over the past decade.  So we’re pleased to see the Global Fund take such a significant step to show stakeholders how these investments are being spent and what they are achieving.   And as avid users of Global Fund data ourselves, we’re particularly pleased to see a few features of this new tool:


Seeing Like a State in Africa: Data Needed

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I'm a little late to this, but recently Chris Blattman set off an interesting debate by criticizing Bill Gates' recent interest in the quality of GDP statistics in Africa.  Chris worries that Gates is falling into the trap of "seeing like a state" -- i.e.,  from the top down, obsessing over national statistics -- rather than a bottom-up entrepreneur who, presumably, couldn't care less about aggregate GDP numbers.   

Saving Lives by Visualizing Deaths

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My recent wonky indulgence has been exploring the visualization tool of the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), which produces stunning graphs that display a snapshot of our planet’s disease burden across 5-year intervals from 1990 to 2010. The global and regional results of the study were launched in December 2012 in a special issue of The Lancet, and there are several country-specific papers expected this year.