Devex, Global Health NOW Examine Efforts To Better Use Data In Humanitarian, Public Health Responses

Devex: Can the U.N.’s Centre for Humanitarian Data stand out?
“As the United Nations’ Centre for Humanitarian Data took shape last year, its founders had to think hard about what it would not be doing. It would not be the place where all humanitarian information, from cash transfer volumes to vaccination rates to rainfall, is analyzed. It would not handle big data, and it would not collect data itself. Instead, after consultations, the goal set was to increase the use and impact of data across the aid sector. The overarching aim of the center, which is part of the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, is that ‘everyone involved in a humanitarian response has access to the data they need, when and how they need it, to make responsible and informed decisions’…” (Chadwick, 5/15).

Global Health NOW: A Vital Boost for Policy
“Birth certificates are a ticket to ride … they unlock a host of social services, as Philip Setel, a Vital Strategies vice president and director of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics improvement program explained at a Data for Health convening last week. Yet all too often — up to 40 percent of the time, in fact — a birth certificate is never provided. And it isn’t just about having the piece of paper; governments need data to make a host of decisions about health. To that end, Vital Strategies’ Data Impact Program collaborates with governments to expand the use of data to enhance public health planning and policymaking…” (Myers, 5/14).

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