Data and analytics are essential tools for local governance – they provide evidence-based decision-making, help identify patterns and trends, enable effective resource allocation, measure performance, and promote transparency and accountability.
Indeed, data and data analytics are incredibly important. Local governance involves making decisions that affect the lives of local residents, businesses, and communities. Evidence, therefore, is needed to support these decisions and enable local officials to make informed choices based on objective information rather than relying on intuition and guesswork. Data analytics can help local officials identify patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent. For example, data on crime rates could highlight areas where additional police attention may be needed, or data on traffic congestion could inform decisions about road infrastructure improvements. An information on the common illnesses and diseases in an area for a particular month of the year could also help rural health units prepare the medicines needed so that they will not be caught off-guard when cases increase.
Local governments also have limited resources, and they need to allocate these resources effectively to achieve their goals. With data analytics, local officials will be able to determine where resources are needed most, based on evidence rather than speculation.
Local governments need to measure their performance in order to ensure they are meeting their objectives and delivering services effectively. Data and analytics provide a way to track progress towards these goals and identify areas for improvement.
Lastly, data and analytics promote transparency and accountability in local governance. By providing data on key performance indicators and progress towards goals, local officials can demonstrate their accountability to voters and other stakeholders.
Given these, the Action for Economic Reforms and the United States Agency for International Development, in partnership with Galing Pook Foundation, state universities and colleges, local government units and local civil society and peoples’ organizations implemented the Coalescing Organizations towards Locally Led Actions to Boost Development (COLLABDev) Project. The Project aims to promote human-centered, data-driven development in the Philippines by strengthening local coalitions and enhancing data capacities of the local actors.
Now on its final year, the COLLABDev Project has released its data analytics reports, which demonstrate the potential of high-quality disaggregated data and data analytics at the local government unit (LGU) level. These reports combine administrative data provided by the LGU, external data from national government agencies, and new data collected through COLLABDev’s community mobilization activity.
The reports can be accessed here.
Hopefully the reports can be useful to further encourage local government units to further enhance their capacities in gathering and utilizing data. This is because promoting a data-driven culture, progress that is people-centered and data-driven local governance is possible.