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Overthrowing the unsatisfactory data status quo depends on more than declarations and calls to coordinate and partner. As we and others have noted (here and here), more and better funding is what’s needed to deliver on a data revolution.
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?
We at CGD warmly welcome president-elect Barack Obama's appointments of Timothy Geithner as Secretary of Treasury and Lawrence Summers to head the National Economic Council. Both are members of the CGD Board of Directors. This is no coincidence.
A recent evaluation by the IMF Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) suggests that some of its programs with low-income countries may be unduly restricting the spending of additional aid. But the results vary a lot from country to country.
Recently DfID, the British aid agency, issued the third White Paper in its series on Eliminating World Poverty, this one focused on Making governance work for the poor. Yesterday I was privileged to join a panel at the IMF where Mark Lowcock, DfID's Director General for Policy and International, gave an overview of the immensely ambitious and wide ranging Paper and the rationale for the commitments it makes.