In a world with dynamic population movements, outbreaks with cross-border implications, and increasingly politicized health issues, linear and inflexible approaches to global health programs are ineffective. Adaptive management has emerged as one possible approach that embodies iteration and adaptability in program design and implementation to help with navigating complex and dynamic environments. Real-time data systems can strengthen adaptive management by generating data that can more rapidly inform tactical adaptations, changes, and future planning. This white paper challenges traditional project management in the global development sector. It encourages donors, policymakers, implementers, and ministries of health to set a new precedent of adaptive programming.