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Global Partnership on Development Data

By Tara Newton, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Apr 17, 2015

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Photo: PATH/Hallie Goertz. BID Learning Network members at the Design Collaborative Meeting in Lusaka, Zambia (Dec. 2014).

Photo: PATH/Hallie Goertz. BID Learning Network members at the Design Collaborative Meeting in Lusaka, Zambia (Dec. 2014).

Data is a hot topic in the global community as we saw with the recent New York Times article, and we are inspired by the enthusiasm as we continue moving forward into the next phases of the Better Immunization Data Initiative. Claire Melamed recently authored an article on Global Dashboard, So what could a Global Partnership on Development Data do for us?

Melamed touches on reasons why such a partnership would be beneficial, which ties in nicely to our strategy for the BID Initiative. She discusses the ability to systematically share experiences and knowledge between countries and organizations to save time, money, and even lives. She also points out the lack of standards and protocols resulting in time wasted recreating systems and the lack of data sharing to effectively target resources.

The BID Initiative’s BID Learning Network (BLN) was designed precisely with these concerns in mind. With members from several sub-Saharan African countries grappling with similar challenges in immunization service delivery as well as global partners and those working in immunization programs, the network ensures that BID Initiative solutions will be relevant and applicable to multiple country contexts. The BLN iterates on solutions through our Google Group, in-person design meetings, and learns from member experiences through our webinars. For example, we recently held a design collaborative meeting to discuss system requirements for an electronic immunization registry. We are well aware that what works in Tanzania, one of our demonstration countries, might not work in Mozambique or Kenya. However, input from our members helps us design the right products, policies and practices that can be packaged, disseminated and tailored across sub-Sahara Africa.  Additionally, we support and meet regularly with our partners, such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Sabin Vaccine Institute, to ensure our efforts align with the global agenda.

Our intent is for the BLN to live on after our work with the BID Initiative closes, but wouldn’t it be great if it was supported by a Global Partnership on Development Data? Melamed discusses the need to harness the current excitement around data with this partnership to create a lasting platform for data advocates when the political attention inevitably shifts to something else. She provides organizational examples such as Gavi and the Global Partnership for Education who tirelessly advocate for their platforms. Melamed argues that a “a global partnership on data would be a constant voice on the global scene reminding people of the importance of better data, and galvanizing resources and action to that end.”

Melamed closes with a realization that yes, establishing this partnership would be a heavy lift and there are initiatives like Paris21 (and BID) that are already underway, but could perhaps benefit from a global coordinated effort to build relationships and generate momentum to further deliver results.


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