Decoding data use: How do leaders use data and use it to accelerate development?

A new AidData report illuminates the black box of how leaders source evidence and use it to accelerate development in low- and middle-income countries. Information is “never the hero”, but it plays a supporting role in how leaders allocate scarce resources and accelerate development in their communities. Even in low- and middle-income countries, decision-makers have ample choices in sourcing evidence from a growing field of domestic and international data providers. However, more information is not necessarily better if it misses the mark for what leaders need to monitor their country’s progress. Claims that information is the “world’s most valuable resource” and calls for a “data revolution” will ring hollow if we can’t decode what leaders actually use — and why. In a new report, Decoding Data Use: How leaders source data and use it to accelerate development, AidData reveals what 3500 leaders from 126 countries have to say about the types of data or analysis they use, from what sources, and for which purposes in the context of their work.

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