Data for Development: Powering Evidence-Based International Aid with Mobile Technology

  • Center for Data Innovation 1101 K St NW, Suite 610 Washington, DC USA

Hosted by:
Center for Data Innovation


The adage “You can’t manage what you can’t measure” is especially applicable to the international development community in which donor countries and their implementing partners seek maximum impact with limited resources. Historically government and nonprofits have lacked the necessary technological infrastructure to collect performance data, leaving policymakers at a disadvantage when it comes to program evaluation and management. This technological gap is narrowing. Thanks to the rise of mobile technologies, development managers increasingly have the ability to collect and analyze granular and even real-time data in the field, creating unprecedented opportunities to improve how the international development sector manages and improves programs to assist the world’s poor and marginalized populations. Where once a program administrator had to rely on overbroad statistics, untimely and unreliable reporting, or no information at all, mobile infrastructure can allow for real-time collection of performance data in easy-to-analyze formats. Whether it is a smartphone app that can allow an aid worker to log reports from the field or a connected sensor that can continuously collect and transmit data on air quality, officials can now have a wealth of data at their disposal to manage resources more effectively, identify pain points and opportunities for improvement, quickly identify best practices, and ensure programs meet their goals.

Join the Center for Data Innovation for a panel discussion on how policymakers and international development organizations can take advantage of new opportunities to collect and apply data to improve the effectiveness of international aid.