Make the most of data? Introducing the BvLF data readiness tool

Published February 25, 2019

For organisations working in urban and early childhood development, data is a vital tool to inform planning, monitor progress, increase accountability, and strengthen the voice of children in decisions that affect them. But how can organisations make the most of data? With increased volumes of data and the increasing sophistication of collection and analysis techniques, it can be hard to know where to start.

Get ready for data! A tool to guide data use to serve babies, toddlers and the people who care for them is designed to help city officials and early childhood development practitioners plan for data collection, use and management. It covers key considerations such as prioritising data sources, selecting the most appropriate presentation methods, and identifying ethical considerations around how data will be collected and used.

Consisting of a series of topic cards covering key action steps, discussion questions, tips, and space for recording actions, the tool can help you to:

  • Improve project planning and decision making regarding data collection, sharing, and use from the start;
  • Manage risks and challenges of data collection and use regarding early child development; and
  • Help teams to co-create plans, and build shared understanding of key data concepts.

Practical planning tool

The tool follows on from an earlier BvLF and ODI report about the potential of data dashboards to improve early child development in cities. It takes recommendations from the report, and turns them into a practical planning tool that can be used by an individual leader or a team, or in a workshop setting. It is designed to sit alongside the Urban95 ‘starter kit’ package of workshop tools, and consists of:

  • Single page matrix – to be completed by an individual;
  • A6 small cards – to distribute among a team for discussion;
  • A4 large cards – to print and use in workshops;
  • Google doc version – to complete online and collaborate with others;
  • Links to reports, articles and additional reading.

Making a plan for data using this tool is just the beginning of the process. We encourage you to communicate your data activities to others in your community, review your progress, develop use cases that demonstrate the impact of data, iterate your plans as needed, and continue to build data literacy among your organisation and implementation partners.