Development assistance is a field marked by complexity. Stimulating, or facilitating, growth in emerging markets is a multi-faceted process that typically transcends theoretical thought. Projects in which social change must sweep entire regions can require granular processes per community, which makes organizational leadership challenging and resources limited. Building local capacity for growth and change in developing areas is often the goal of these development aid efforts, yet long-term goals like these allow for years-worth of efforts to go without critical analysis of what is truly effective. Without reliable processes to track progress, years of work can be for naught.
In this post, we will discuss how data collection can help development assistance organizations make more thoughtful and strategic choices that may keep projects on track and allow for more effective aid efforts.
Data for development assistance
The private sector is ever-obsessed with data, and as a market research company we can easily see why. Data-driven decision-making is more than a buzzword. Advances in data collection and analytics tools have made using data a join-or-die situation for corporations. This is because the impact and capabilities provided by technology, and data, are exponential. Not only has the new lens on data’s role in business revolutionized the private sector, but the way in which the world views information itself is also changing more and more each day.
Today, data is more than just large excel sheets of numbers. It is answers to pressing questions. It is insights into the minds of consumers or people in a community. It is proof of progression, recession, or stagnation toward goals. Data is information, and for the International Development sector this information can mean better use of resources and a greater impact.
Although development assistance is far from the process of selling products or services, the data collection process can be similar. Corporate brands conduct significant amounts of research when launching a new product in order to understand consumer perception and engagement. Research of this nature collects data that can be analyzed to direct decision-making that will protect investments in time, labor, inventory, and more. Social sector organizations should be regularly conducting research tailored to their projects in order to collect similar data. This research can provide information for leadership that can share insight into how projects are truly impacting the areas they are intended to serve. Shifts in approach, small or large, can be strategically planned based on the data received from research, and leaders within the organization can make data-driven decisions to ensure that projects are truly on track to accomplish goals.
GeoPoll’s technical staff understand that many implementers in the international development assistance field may be new to conducting primary research for the purpose of data-driven decision-making, which is why we always provide a baseline of expert knowledge to clients throughout the research process. In addition to the help GeoPoll provides with conducting research and understanding results, GeoPoll has developed a new training program for international development organizations. Training sessions are available for organization leaders, or teams of workers, and focus on how to utilize research-based data collection to make thoughtful choices in development assistance.
GeoPoll was built to fill the need for gathering research data in hard to reach places. Every day since our establishment in 2012, GeoPoll has been bridging the data-gap by providing clients with high quality data on tailored audiences in remote areas of the world, all in real-time. To learn more about our research capabilities and training sessions, contact us today!