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The World Bank’s Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (TFSCB) supports projects that are innovative both in technology and approach and make an ongoing difference to a country’s statistical system. Here are some of the highlights and stories from pilot projects in Malawi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to build a Data Collaborative to support Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Health and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH).
 
In Malawi, more than 30% of the population are still lacking access to safe drinking water and in DRC, this rises to more than 56% (World Development Indicators, 2017) [1]. The Global SDG 6.1 [2] addresses this problem and there are many actors who are actively gathering data in this field; however due to the lack of a mature data ecosystem that can produce data for reporting, oftentimes, the data collections result in a fragmented data landscape.
 
To address these issues, the TFSCB funded a project from a consortium with the Netherlands Red Cross (NRC) [3], the Malawi Red Cross Society, Red Cross of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and CartONG [4], to support SDG reporting in Malawi and DRC. In partnership with the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, the Development Data Group at the World Bank supported the project’s operations and monitoring and evaluation.
 
Use of drones to gather aerial imagery

 

Combining the drone imagery with other sources of geospatial data improves the overall quality of water point data sets by removing inconsistencies and enriching attribute information. (© Sarah Farhat/WorldBank)


 

One innovative aspect of this project was the use of drones to gather aerial imagery down to 10 cm resolution for water point detection (SDG 6.1.1 [5]) in Malawi. Combining the drone imagery with other sources of geospatial data improves the overall quality of water point data sets by removing inconsistencies and enriching attribute information.

 
The project developed and evaluated an innovative framework [6] to characterize a data ecosystem in its totality, bringing together both sociological and technical aspects along five dimensions, Data Actors & collaboratives, Data Ecosystem Governance, Data Supply, Data Infrastructure, and Data Demand.
 
“The framework developed is very useful for the National Statistics Office (NSO) of Malawi to determine how to enrich the official statistics with open mapping data.” - Mercy Kanyuka, Commissioner of Statistics, NSO in Malawi
This project also enabled local communities to determine the transportation time needed to reach health centers in the DRC. Health care providers and recipients sometimes relied on handwritten maps that were inaccurate before the introduction of these tools.
 
Handdrawn map

 

Health care providers and recipients sometimes relied on handwritten maps that were inaccurate before the introduction of the mapping tools.


 
 
Now Ministry of Health staff have received training in geospatial information systems (GIS) as well as open source mapping tools. The support from the TFSCB offered speed and flexibility that empowered government and agencies operating in the local community to solve the problem.
 
"Thanks to the innovative framework and the collaboratives, I now don’t have to travel 10,000 km across the vast DRC to obtain certain datasets." - Christian Shadrack OSM, Democratic Republic of the Congo

 

The Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (TFSCB) is supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, the Government of Korea, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland.

Learn more about the World Bank and read the full story, which was first published on the World Bank's Data Blog.

 


 

Photo (carousel): © Arne Hoel, World Bank

Text: Sun Hwa Song, Siddhesh Kaushik, Leslie Ricketts

Sources:
 
[2] By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.
[5] 6.1.1 Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services.
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