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The need and will to produce and use better data is clear in low-income countries: SDG-related data quality, completeness, availability, and use are woefully inadequate for policy and accountability purposes. But the global response has yet to address these needs.
The Third Conference on Financing for Development has come and gone; country delegates and their leaders, civil society actors, aid organizations, and policy wonks have all returned home. As we discussed prior to FFD , the United States government had a major opportunity to make commitments on domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and data. So how did the US government fare in these areas?
In Washington, rumor has it that the United States will bring commitments on domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and data to the table at the Financing for Development Conference this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As we get down to the wire, our fingers are crossed that the US government will take this opportunity to be ambitious and offer robust packages in both these areas. Here’s what that could look like.
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.
International Monetary Fund Deputy Chief Roberto Rosales announced Monday a plan to encourage more countries to publish their economic and financial data in a timely manner, addressing concerns that essential information in developing countries and emerging markets is inaccurate and out of date. The IMF would require countries that adhere to the less stringent of two IMF data-reporting standards to publish their data according to an advance release calendar, as countries on the more stringent standards do.
What areas in Africa have the most critical lack of data and what needs to be done about it? What lessons can be learned from existing data innovations in Africa? What other data revolution principles and concrete actions should Africa adopt? How do we reinforce the data capacity of African development actors?
The current rules for what counts as aid are a mess. Richard Manning, a former chair of the DAC (the OECD’s donor club), said last year that the system allows donors to “get away with murder” by counting loans as aid even if they are made on commercial terms. He has led a commendable campaign for reform.