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On World AIDS Day, MCC and PEPFAR drive change with economic and health data

December 1, 2014

At MCC, we are active in our commitment to open data and transparency. As you know, over the years we’ve worked hard to improve our practices in these areas. We continuously work to improve the data we share. We have been steadily releasing the data behind our independent evaluations. And we’re sponsoring our first Open Data Challenge to encourage people to use it!

In the process of doing all this, we learned that collecting, using and sharing data is not always easy. It requires political will, resourcing and creativity to overcome the inevitable legal and technical obstacles. Despite the challenges, we remain committed to doing business openly and transparently. At MCC, we don’t do it just because it’s “the right thing to do.”  We do it because we believe it improves the quality of our work and because it promotes learning about what works in development.

Today, Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced a new partnership between MCC and the U.S. State Department’s Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, the office responsible for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Working with stakeholders in partner countries, we will build country-driven local data hubs that increase transparency and accountability. We look forward to using all the lessons we learned in our own work to support PEPFAR as they continue to improve their use of data to increase the impact of their programs. The most exciting part of this partnership is the chance for PEPFAR and MCC to work together in a few countries so that country partners and civil society can be as involved in and excited about using data as we are.

Since the Secretary General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development released its report, A World That Counts, in early November, there’s been a lot of buzz around the transformative power of data for development. However, a lot must happen before this power can be truly harnessed. Not only must more and better data be made open and accessible, but we also must involve people in using it to create positive change.

That’s what we will do together with PEPFAR through creating local data hubs in a few partner countries.  These hubs will be places where data on health and other areas critical to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic, such as economic development and gender, will be collected, curated, and made more accessible. They will also be vibrant meeting places that encourage ongoing collaboration between public sector, civil society and private sector groups who use the data.

We’re thrilled to join with PEPFAR and offer our expertise so that together we can do our part to drive the data revolution.

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