Author Archives: Development Initiatives

Improving data on ageing to leave no one behind

At the end of August, I participated in a meeting in Winchester, UK, with colleagues from national statistical offices, UN agencies, NGOs and academia, to discuss the need for better disaggregation by age and ageing-related statistics. The UK’s Office of National Statistics hosted the technical group to lay the groundwork for the creation of the Titchfield City Group on Ageing and Age-disaggregated Data, which will provide expert recommendations to the UN Statistical Commission. Other city groups have significantly improved the collection of data, such as the Washington Group’s work on disability statistics. In order to leave no one behind – a core aim of Agenda 2030’s Sustainable Development Goals – we need to understand all the dimensions through which people are excluded.

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Making the case for disaggregated data: A look at Nigeria

The P20 Initiative aims to track the progress of the poorest 20% of the world’s population from poverty to security and opportunity. It is about ensuring that the Sustainable Development Goals and the data revolution deliver progress for the poorest 20% of the world’s population – the P20 – and that no one is left behind. But if we are to achieve this global ambition we first must better understand what factors and circumstances contribute to people’s exclusion, and how different deprivations and disadvantages intersect and reinforce one other. Using our new visualisation in the Development Data Hub, let’s look at Nigeria as an example. Here, we find that 65% of the country’s population are within the global P20 – that’s approximately 112 million people

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Humanitarian funding: What were 2016’s key trends?

Global spending in response to humanitarian crises reached an estimated US$27.3 billion in 2016. Our Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2017 provides detailed and comprehensive analysis of what’s behind this. Here are four key trends in where the money comes from and how and where it is delivered – and what this means for current and future funding. A slowdown in global humanitarian funding It’s remarkable that in 2016 international humanitarian funding grew for the fourth consecutive year, but striking how this growth slowed.

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Failing to deliver on financing for development commitments

Most humanitarian crises are protracted or recurrent and the majority of humanitarian assistance is provided year-on-year over the medium to long term: 91 percent of humanitarian assistance from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Development Assistance Committee donors went to long- and medium-term recipients in 2014 (the year for which data is most recently available). As a result, there is a strong rationale for longer term humanitarian planning and financing, and greater coordination between humanitarian and development actors working in the same protracted crisis contexts to more effectively address the needs of vulnerable people and ‘leave no one behind’. In line with this, a number of recent global processes — including the Third International Financing conference on Financing for Development (2015), World Humanitarian Summit (2016) and U.N. High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing — have resulted in promising commitments to strengthen the coherence of humanitarian and development responses and financing.

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A new home for Development Initiatives’ work on humanitarian financing

Our analysis on humanitarian assistance and related aid flows can now be found on DI’s main website at This new section of the DI website replaces the Global Humanitarian Assistance website and builds on our work to highlight the importance of links between the humanitarian and development sectors. Our humanitarian financing work provides independent analysis for evidence-based decision-making and improved accountability and effectiveness in humanitarian contexts – both in response to humanitarian crises and for resilience building. We have carried out analysis in this field since 2000 when we established our Global Humanitarian Assistance project. While the look and location of our work has now changed in line with our strategic review and new brand, we maintain our rigorous approach and high-quality analysis.

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Coming soon: Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2017

Development Initiatives’ Global Humanitarian Assistance report provides a comprehensive overview of humanitarian financing and related aid flows, based on independent analysis of the latest data. The 2017 report will include new analysis on: where resources are coming from, where they are going to, and how they get there the links between poverty and crisis, risk and resilience – contributing to efforts to strengthen the humanitarian–development nexus and ‘leave no one behind’ Grand Bargain commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit, including those on transparency, localisation, earmarking and multi-year funding the wider set of financing instruments to address the causes and consequences of conflict and disasters. Check back here on Wednesday 21 June to download the report and explore the findings. The post Coming soon: Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2017 appeared first on Development Initiatives.

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Making the case for disaggregated data: A look at Ethiopia

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lays out an ambitious vision of a future where no one lives in extreme poverty. At the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals is a commitment to ensure that ‘no one is left behind’ and that no goal is considered met unless met for all. But if we are to truly realise this ambition we need to move beyond existing statistics that track national averages and move towards more and better data disaggregated down to the level of individuals. In other words, we need to count people, not averages. The P20 Initiative does this by focusing on the people who live in the poorest 20% of the population globally: the P20.

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Latest data now available on DI’s Development Data Hub

The Development Data Hub is an open platform for sharing development and humanitarian data. The interactive data visualisations empower users to investigate financial resource-flow data alongside poverty, social and vulnerability indicators, and the analysis is also available to download. By harmonising and standardising the latest data for 2015 from a range of official sources – including OECD, IMF, the World Bank and others – the visualisations make it easy for both experienced and non-technical data users to compare information across countries and regions. This contextual evidence can contribute to effective planning and  by feeding into a better understanding of resource allocation.

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How prepared for disasters is Kenya?

Kenya is a nation prone to conflicts, slow-onset natural disasters such as droughts and famine, and rapid-onset disasters such as floods, land or mudslides, and disease outbreaks. Its topography makes areas of the country particularly susceptible to natural disasters, with arid and semi-arid lands covering about 89% of the total land mass – home to about 36% of the population. Subnationally there are areas that are regularly affected by droughts, resulting in food insecurity, high levels of malnutrition-related illnesses and deaths, and disruption of livelihoods. Other areas with poor surface water drainage are prone to flooding, resulting in loss of life and property, and outbreaks of waterborne human and animal diseases such as cholera and Rift Valley fever. It is vital that Kenya is prepared to face these challenges to minimise the impact of disasters on people and livelihoods.

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Aid spending by Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors in 2016

Key findings Total net ODA from DAC donors in 2016 was US$142.62 billion (US$143.33 billion in constant 2015 prices), up 8.9% on 2015 figures.[1] Both total ODA and ODA net of refugee-hosting costs increased. Total ODA net of refugee-hosting costs reached US$127.21 billion in 2016 (US$127.89 billion in constant 2015 prices), an increase of 7.1% from 2015. The proportion of total ODA reported by DAC donors for refugee-hosting costs increased by 27.5%, reaching US$15.41 billion (US$15.44 billion in constant 2015 prices). The majority of donors saw an increase in their reported ODA from 2015 to 2016, some quite significantly; however, some key donors saw a decrease. Six countries met the 0.7% gross national income (GNI) target.

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Development Initiatives announced as new host for the 2017 Global Nutrition Report

DI has played a key role in the Global Nutrition Report in previous years, with Strategic Adviser Judith Randel sitting on the report’s Independent Expert Group. DI has also contributed data analysis on nutrition financing to the report. Harpinder Collacott, Executive Director at Development Initiatives, said: “We are delighted to host this year’s Global Nutrition Report. It’s a flagship publication that has put nutrition on the global agenda and as a result has immense credibility across the world.” The Global Nutrition Report documents progress on commitments made on the global stage, and recommends actions to accelerate that progress.

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Workshops: Working together to improve humanitarian transparency

We are hosting two consultation workshops in New York and Washington DC to bring together humanitarian data publishers and users to explore the rationale, use and benefits of IATI Standard. New York Date Wednesday 26 April 2017 Time 10.30−15.00 EST Location UNDP, 304 East 45th Street, FF1507, New York, NY 10017 Washington DC Date Thursday 27 April 2017 Time 08.30−13.00 EST Location OpenGov Hub, 1110 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005 About Transparency is a fundamental part of improving the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of crisis prevention and response. The commitment by Grand Bargain signatory organisations to publish timely, transparent, harmonised and open high-quality data on humanitarian financing by May 2018 – using the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) as the basis for a common standard – sets a clear direction for improving humanitarian data for better accountability, decision-making and learning. The workshops will bring together humanitarian data publishers and users to explore the rationale, use and benefits of IATI Standard and how it can be further enriched to meet and monitor the needs of the humanitarian community. They will address questions such as: What types of data and information on humanitarian funding and activities are needed

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Insights into Nepal’s emerging data revolution

We’ve been working with local partners to engage non-state actors and government on this agenda, in particular through our support to the Open Nepal initiative. Alongside this, DI has supported local partners with funding and expertise on various technical, research and engagement efforts. Our focus has been to support the development of the information ecosystem needed to enable data-informed decision-making and accountability. This background paper shares some of our insights on Nepal’s emerging data revolution: The context for Nepal’s data revolution – presenting the complex environment surrounding interventions aimed at improving the production, sharing and use of data The development data ecosystem – including the role of government, civil society, private sector and development partners, plus key actors and initiatives within these groups The state of production, sharing and data use in Nepal – including the important milestones reached Future directions for Nepal’s data revolution – focusing on the role of the vibrant community of data enthusiasts in Nepal.

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What are the principles of joined-up data?

At the Friday Seminar that preceded this year’s UN Statistical Commission, Open Data Watch’s Eric Swanson asked me a challenging yet pertinent question following my presentation to the plenary. He asked: “The definition and principles of ‘open data’ are quite clear and simple but the principles of joined-up data are less clear. Can you enunciate five principles of joined-up data that could serve as a practical guide for others?” This is a question that we at the Joined-Up Data Standards (JUDS) project have been beginning to answer through our discussion papers, blogs and consultation paper. That said, Eric touched on a real gap in terms of concrete guidance when it comes to a commonly recognised list of principles for interoperability – the ability to access and process data from multiple sources without losing meaning, and integrate them for mapping, visualisation, and other forms of analysis – at a global level.

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