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Policymakers Must Be Invested In, Involved With Data Collection To Create Real Impact

Devex: Opinion: How partnering with policymakers turns data into action
Emily Courey Pryor, founding executive director of Data2x

“…[D]ata use leading to impact is possible when decision-makers are included in — and invested in — the data process from the beginning. This finding — that decision-makers must have a seat at the data collection table from day one — was a recurrent theme across the gender data impact stories we collected as part of a story collection project with Open Data Watch and Devex this year. This project was driven by our desire to showcase how quality gender data, when used, shapes policies and legislation, informs program decisions, and changes funding priorities. Time and again, we found that in situations where data was able to revolutionize institutions and behavior, and create real impact, policymakers were part of the conversation before the expensive, labor-intensive work of data collection began. … Let’s start a practical conversation about how to more effectively integrate data producers and data users. We must find better ways to connect those dots to move toward action on gender equality” (10/17).