Civil registration and vital statistics benefit health, child protection, and governance

Civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) record births, deaths, and other major life events that are essential to understanding the development of a country and its people. The associated personal identification and data are critical to ensuring human rights and the monitoring of 12 of the 17 SDGs. Yet CRVS gaps persist, and calculations suggest that 77 of the 100 countries still without a functioning CRVS system will collectively require US$220 million in investments. 

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Handpump data improves water access

With two-thirds of the world’s population facing water scarcity at some point during a year, and with one-third of handpumps in rural Africa inoperable at any time, increasing the reliability and functionality of water services is essential to sustainable development. The Smart Handpump Project, initiated at the University of Oxford, is improving water services in rural Kenya through sensors installed on handpumps in the region.

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Household surveys shape policy investment

The Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS), housed within the Development Data Group of the World Bank, is one of the largest and longest-running household survey programs. To date, it has supported more than 100 LSMS-based national surveys and it has had a profound impact on many countries’ policies and investments.

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Valuation of the New Zealand Census

New Zealand has conducted its census since 1851, providing a vital source of data about the size and demographics of the country’s population. A valuation of the census was performed in 2014. Even though the scope was limited to a select number of quantifiable applications, the study found that the census would return New Zealand (NZ) $5 to the national economy over the next 25 years for every NZ$1 invested.

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Improved data governance leads to better economic outcomes for Philippine citizens

In 2013, the Philippines Government enacted legislation that merged four existing data-producing agencies into one comprehensive Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). This group has improved the timeliness of national and regional accounts, opened up national statistical data, innovated the way the Philippines conducts household surveys and censuses to enable geotagging and geospatial analytics, and is now coordinating a new national identification system.

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Landsat's earth observation data support disease prediction, solutions to pollution, and more

How can open access to earth imagery help predict disease spread or identify solutions to toxic waterways? The Landsat program–the longest-standing continuous global record of the Earth’s surface through satellite imagery–has enabled these and other solutions in support of people, planet, and prosperity since its launch in the 1970s.

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BudgIT empowers Nigerian citizens through open data

Frivolous spending and opaque processes plague Nigeria’s federal budget. Civic startup BudgIT launched in 2011 to take on this challenge. The organization aims to make budgetary data from Nigeria’s Federal Government more accessible and understandable through digital technologies, including making PDFs machine-readable and designing visual representations of the data for those with low data literacy.

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Bangladeshi slums reduce maternal and infant mortality with the help of innovative health data

International nonprofit BRAC developed a data-driven approach to account and care for mothers and young children in Bangladeshi slums through healthcare initiative Manoshi. Manoshi built the capacity of local health workers in Bangladesh to derive actionable data from social mapping, local censuses, and real-time data-sharing via mobile technology, contributing to more timely and effective maternal health interventions in urban slums.

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Data sharing via SMS strengthens Uganda's health system

The Ugandan government, with the support of UNICEF, began leapfrogging its outmoded health system in 2011 by introducing an SMS-based health reporting program called mTRAC. This program has supported significant improvements in the country’s health system, including halving of response time to disease outbreaks and reducing medication stockouts, the latter of which resulted in fewer malaria-related deaths.

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