More demographic data are being collected throughout the developing world than ever before, but the effective use of that data to further development goals is often lacking. This working paper summarizes case studies on the demand for data in four sub-Saharan African countries, namely Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, and Uganda. The project’s objective was to create a detailed portrait of access and demand at the country level, and to determine whether policymakers are getting the data they need to develop sound policies. Common findings across the four countries include an increased external demand from international initiatives that has not necessarily translated into internal demand for data; a missing link between producers and users of data; and a need for data to be presented in user-friendly formats. Next steps are to support initiatives to establish data access as a right, encourage a culture of data-sharing among funders and producers of data, strengthen intermediaries between policymakers and data collectors, display data in accessible formats such as maps, and disaggregate available data to the most useful levels.
Baldwin, Wendy and Judith A. Diers. 2009. "Demographic data for development in sub-Saharan Africa," Poverty, Gender, and Youth Working Paper no. 13. New York: Population Council.