In recent years, international donors, not least the members of the Transparency & Accountability Initiative (TAI) collaborative, have invested heavily in governance data. The impact of these investments, however, remains limited. Despite improvements in the quantity of data available in many countries, successful use cases, in which local activists leverage governance data to solve problems related to corruption and the misuse of public resources, are rare. What causes this impact gap? TAI’s Nigeria scoping exercise suggests three barriers are especially important:
- In many cases, governance data is neither user-friendly nor of sufficient quality to enable use.
- Local stakeholders—civil society organizations (CSOs), journalists, governments, and others—often lack the skills and resources to easily clean, analyze, and take action on the basis of governance data.
- Sectoral and jurisdictional silos prevent data users from collaborating to produce and use complementary datasets to fight corruption.
|Learning to Use Data to Strengthen Accountability in Nigeria: Different datasets, different users, different strategies|
|TAI Data for Accountability Initiative Learning Agenda|
|Effectiveness and results of approaches to engaging user groups in the use of data for accountability and anti-corruption efforts||· What engagement strategies used by civil society organizations (CSOs) effectively facilitate use of data by key user groups?|
|· What data-focused strategies used by CSOs encourage government agencies to respond, take action, and become more accountable?|
|Key contextual and strategic variables and their effect on project implementation||· How do strategies used by CSOs to promote data use differ across user groups? How do those differences affect the achievement of project goals?|
|· How do strategies used by CSOs to promote data use differ across administrative levels? How do those differences affect the achievement of project goals?|
|· How do international mechanisms (such as OGP) support and/or hinder data for accountability initiatives?|
Global Integrity intend to leverage this learning agenda to generate evidence and insights that can inform the work of anti-corruption activists across the globe—beyond Nigeria and Colombia—so that, eventually, the field can learn to close the data impact gap. In order for that to happen, we need your input: How do the learning questions we’ve arrived at resonate with you? What are the other questions and themes you’d want us to dive into? Tweet us @jflorzeh, @globalintegrity, and @TAInitiative.
In the meantime, Global Integrity team will be accompanying TAI and TAI grantees through the end of 2020 (and beyond in Colombia). They’ll help the grantees test their theories of change and monitor progress. They’ll also facilitate regular reflection sessions (starting this week!) and collect some primary data in Nigeria, all with a view toward producing evidence that will help answer our collective learning questions.
We look forward to providing occasional blog updates throughout, learning and sharing with you as we go.