Claes Johansson, Senior Adviser, DevInfo, UNICEF

UNICEF and the data revolution
March 11, 2014
Key data needs
• More complete global reporting on progress
toward goals
• Data to achieve better results – accountability
and results-based management
• Big data
• Surveys
• User engagement
Big Data Priority Areas
• Big Data for programming
• Child Protection
• Tower Data Project
Big Data as an Information Source
• UNICEF’s comparative advantage is in
connecting data to operational projects
• Have already done a year of work on this with
PD and Global Pulse
• Using UN Data and working with other UN
Agencies, Funds, and Programmes
• Using new data streams to combine with
UNICEF’s work to give us more accurate
predictive power and situational assessment
Areas of interest for big data
• Early warning systems for natural disasters and
other exogenous shocks
• Disease outbreak
• Effectiveness of UNICEF Programs
• Education progress
• Population Movement
• Scale and Scope of an Emergency
• Understanding target populations
• Understanding Youth Sentiment
Child Protection and Big Data
• Write a Big Data and Child Protection protocol
• Following on Child Protection protocols in
other areas
• Equity focus – make sure those represented
are not just those with access to social media
Tower Project
• Real-time system to see exogenous shock to
societies through volume of calls and SMS at a
per tower level
• Beginning hypothesis test looking at landslides
in Eastern Uganda
UNICEF’s critical role in data
collection, analysis and dissemination
• UNICEF has a long history in monitoring the situation
of children and women
• UNICEF’s plays a vital role to support:
– data collection at country level (MICS)
– compilation and analysis of data
– disseminating these data for use in policy formulation and
programme planning
• Without UNICEF’s support the development
community would be unable to assess progress
against global development goals, including the MDGs
Effective global monitoring requires
quality at each step
Reports, profiles,
websites etc.
UN Agencies,
Interagency Groups,
Research groups etc.
Compilation and Quality Assurance
(Maintenance of global databases)
UN Agencies, Interagency Groups
Data Collection
Household surveys for coverage indicators
UNICEF-supported MICS
UNICEF’s support for data collection
Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS)
One of the largest data collection efforts on the MDGs
Provides critically important information for well over 100
indicators including around half of the data for the child
health related MDG indicators
Started in 1995 and now over 240 MICS surveys conducted in
over 100 countries
The fifth round has been initiated with close to 50 countries
participating and data will be used for:
‒ final MDG assessment
‒ baseline for post 2015 goals/targets
Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS)
Since 1995, more than 100 countries and around 240 surveys*
*As of February 2013
Countries with at least one MICS survey, including sub-national surveys
MICS – Leading Data Source on Equity
Data collection
through MICS and
DHS are the primary
source of
disaggregated data
Multiple Indicator Cluster
Surveys (MICS)
MICS provides data for 126
indicators which can be
disaggregated by:
residence (urban, urban-poor,
other stratifiers
combinations of the above
Better analysis of existing data is part
of the data revolution
• Multidimensional poverty analysis (MPI,
• Supporting local use of these data
• Using survey data in conjunction with routine
systems to validate progress
• Strengthen citizen-led service delivery
• Support community awareness and demand
for basic entitlements
• Provide targeted, community derived
information to service delivery providers and
“channels of influence”
• Create an “accountability chain” through
publically available information
Mass Citizen Participation via Mobile
Towards Engaging the 50m…
Citizen reporting via mobile
+256,000 people registered
8% response rate per poll (+/- 20,000 people)
2 polls / week
U–Reporters in all 112 Districts
Average age: 24
A Two Way Communication Platform
Two types of communication…
1. Information to improve individual/community
• Immunization, FHDs, Breastfeeding, Handwashing, etc.
2. Questions about development issues
Two types of response:
• Multiple choice – pre-selected
• SMS – individual narration
In its essence, U-Report is
A Communication 4 Development Tool
Supporting a Virtual Cycle of Engagement
Empowerment and Demand for Accountability
The Citizen
Demand for
Supporting our Advocacy
Linkage with Parliament and media
• All 384 MPs are U-Reporters
• Poll results are communicated via print, radio and TV media
• Some MPs requesting polls to better understand the views of their
• Some Ministries and Development Partners have requested polls (ie
Agriculture, WB)
Direct action by decision makers
Game Changer!
A new form of advocacy that can trigger service delivery and good governance
• Biases inherent in all data sources—
traditional, big data, real-time
• The “signal problem” in big data
• “social-science approaches help us to ask productive
questions about data to prevent us from falling victim to our
own cognitive biases that often suggest answers we expect or
lead us to results we wish to find.” Kate Crawford
Ways forward
• Fitness of purpose for data—articulating the
sources, their strengths and weaknesses and
appropriate uses
• Integrated framework where we use new data
sources where appropriate but triangulate and
validate data
• Protecting the independence and quality of