Data has immense potential to help drive poverty eradication and international development, but it remains incredibly difficult to join up data on resources, people and results because it is published in different formats and to different standards. Overcoming this challenge requires both technical solutions and political will. The challenge facing governments, international institutions, civil society, academics and the private sector alike is how to make sense of the vast quantities of data now being generated in order to create a coherent, holistic picture.
The aims of the Joined-up Data Standards project are to: explore the problems caused by incompatible data in international development; work with partners to find common solutions to these problems; and to build international consensus that all data should be joined up. We have to date produced four discussion papers that cumulatively explore: the way in which global institutions define and classify geographic, sectoral and results data; the overlaps that occur between competing standards; and the policy landscape that governs international data standard setting.
This paper aims to start a discussion on what practical solutions to joining up data standards could look like.