Lifting the rock on inclusive data: Sightsavers and the Inclusive Data Charter | Blogs

How has Sightsavers’ work on inclusive data evolved?

We have increased our own understanding of the intersectional nature of marginalization and inequality, helping us better understand the barriers people face. The data we collect in our health and inclusion thematic areas has increased significantly. Our understanding of the technology and the approaches we can use has also increased and we are well ahead of where we were three or four years ago.

I would like to mention our relationships with governments and national statistical offices, which is a huge area of ​​progress. Sightsavers has built strong relationships on inclusive data with countries such as Senegal, Nigeria and Pakistan, and together there is a shared approach to problems and solutions, which goes beyond our own commitment and focus areas.

You have mentioned “lifting the rock” moment in the past in relation to working with governments. Can you tell us more about that?

It’s an analogy I’ve used several times over the years: the moment the rock is lifted. We work with governments but, in the end, governments are made up of individuals. They have a positive sense of mission and purpose. They want to be doing things in the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Social Welfare, etc. They want to improve the lives of the citizens of their countries. But they know there are people who are not reached or who cannot access services. They know what population groups these are, but they don’t have the data or evidence to prove it. And they already have few resources: financial, personnel, technical, etc.

So, no one really wants to lift that rock, because once you lift it, you have the data and the evidence. You know the magnitude of the problem and it is your job to fix it. But you already have enough problems on your hands without the resources to solve them. So, you don’t really want to lift that rock. And I think the Inclusive Data Charter has enabled those kinds of defining moments in a really positive sense.

Working together, we know there will be challenges in data collection, use and analysis. But no one judges anyone. What we are saying is that having the data is a starting point. If you don’t have the data, then you don’t know the magnitude of the problem.

And I think these moments of lifting the rock have been increasingly positive in recent years. And other governments want to sign up to the Inclusive Data Charter and I think that’s a really positive sign.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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