Data dev’t usage w’shop under way in Accra

A TWO-day regional workshop on Development Data and Usage opened in Accra yesterday with a call on development partners and governments in the sub-region to strive for transparent open data which is key for the implementation of sustainable developmental goals.

The workshop, among other things, aimed at promoting awareness of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) within the African Region bettering the use of data on development co-operation from all sources and examining the bottlenecks and barriers that constrain usage of published data in partner countries.

It was organised by the Government of Ghana, IATI Secretariat and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Opening the workshop, Mr. Dominic Sam, UNDP Country Director, urged participants to develop innovative strategies to address data use, data quality and accessibility on the continent.

Besides, he said, they must help develop systems to provide robust data systems to track the use of resources for the effectiveness and sustainable development of the sub-region.

Mr. Sam said the UNDP, as a member of IATI, since its creation in 2008 had led outreach efforts with partner countries and UN agencies to champion aid transparency standards to make it relevant for national development planning, public financial management and mutual accountability at country level.

He, therefore, urged development partners to join forces in programming, in order to avoid duplication of projects so as to make efficient use of the limited financial resources available for development.

“With a new and more ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being negotiated in 2015, coupled with the ever decreasing aid budgets especially for developing countries, understanding how financial resources and mechanisms can help achieve them and how development can be financed more effectively becomes more crucial than ever before,” he urged.

Mr. Casiel Ato Forson, a deputy finance minister, said following a series of consultations, stakeholders at the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Accra in 2008, committed to work towards improving Aid Transparency in the global development agenda and that brought about IATI.

According to him, over 300 organisations published information on their available development resources through the IATI registry, stressing that, the ultimate goal of IATI was the better utilisation of the published information by the end-users in shaping policies both at the national and sub-national levels.

He called for a concerted effort towards engaging and building the capacity of the end-users of development data, particularly civil society organisations, media and academia for effective outcomes.

By Joseph Edu Archison and Joy Addae-Madzi

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