Bridging the Gap: How Real-Time Data Can Contribute to Adaptive Management in International Development

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Speeches Shim

The ongoing digital revolution has seen rapid growth in the deployment of technology enabled real-time data initiatives in international development and humanitarian work, developed with the goal of accelerating decision-making processes and enhancing aid effectiveness and efficiency.

In parallel, there has also been a growing emphasis on adaptive and flexible approaches as the means by which to achieve better development results, by designing, managing and evaluating programs in ways that enable decision makers to navigate complexity and uncertainty, and find solutions that are ‘best fit’ rather than ‘best practice’.

Both of these emerging movements share a focus on better, more timely and more effective generation and use of data, information, knowledge and insight across multiple levels, from the grass roots to policymakers. Potential synergies between the two movements have so far been under-explored.

Real-time data initiatives could work in tandem with adaptive management efforts, with mutual benefits for both areas of work, and for development efforts as a whole. To achieve these in practice, more systematic learning from experience is needed to identify key factors that might underpin real-time adaptive programming.

Based on the findings of a literature review and interviews with experts, a number of areas have been identified that can inform such learning. These include: the design, development and implementation of real-time data systems; the processes by which data are collected, analyzed, interpreted; the means by which data are shared and disseminated; and the ways that data are used in different kinds of decision-making processes.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 4:00pm

Last updated: February 26, 2019