Over the course of six months, SDSN TReNDS and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data reported on the value of investments made into data applications and systems, including the impacts of capacity development and data use. We systematically reviewed and then shortlisted compelling data impact stories that clearly explain the level and type of investment going into a specific type of data system, and the resulting outcomes. To the extent possible, the case studies attempt to quantify the impact and suggest the magnitude of return on investment (ROI) for funders and investors. Yet the case studies also detail the technical solutions, the process of implementation, and the challenges overcome.
Together, the case studies provide clear evidence of the benefits of investing in a comprehensive national data system not only rooted in traditional data collection approaches, such as census and CRVS, but also capitalizing on innovative tools and methods, such as mobile technologies and Earth observation.