Data Collaboratives for Local Impact

Photo: Mobile and internet connection is on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa, fueling the data revolution and improving lives.

Mobile and internet connection is on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa, fueling the data revolution and improving lives.

  • Value: $21.8 million
  • Mechanism: Interagency MOA
  • Region: Sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania, and Côte d’Ivoire
  • Funding: PEPFAR
  • Oversight: MCC
  • Implementation: Country-led

The Problem

Logo: MCC PEPFAR Data Collaboratives for Local Impact

The data revolution is creating an overabundance of multi-sector, real-time, citizen-generated, georeferenced, and big data.   Government, non-government organizations (NGOs), implementation partners, and civil society in most MCC and PEPFAR partner countries need the skills to leverage this new and increasingly complex resource to inform policy making, decisions and actions.   Countries need this “ecosystem-wide” capacity to strengthen their services, augment citizen engagement, make the most of their scare resources, and more cost-effectively drive their own goals and priorities for achieving sustainable development.

An Interagency Response

In 2015, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), entered into a $21.8 million partnership to create the Data Collaboratives for Local Impact (DCLI) program. DCLI seeks to improve the capacity of individuals, communities and organizations to use data to solve problems relating to HIV/AIDS, global health, gender equality, and economic growth.  As a result, DCLI supports PEPFAR programming including priorities that result from PEPFAR Sustainability Index Dashboards (SID) and Country Operational Plans (COPs).  DCLI also enhances policies and programs; drives innovation; optimises use of US tax payers’ funds and countries’ own resources; and increases transparency, accountability and results.

PEPFAR is the funder and MCC has led the design and overseen the implementation of the DCLI program. The program aligns with broader U.S. government efforts to maximize the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance and with the efforts of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data Partnership to promote data collaboration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Benefits of Harnessing the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

As a global community, it is essential that we use the data we have to drive decision-making, promote mutual accountability and transparency, and ensure our efforts have a clear and deliberate impact on sustainable development.  We have an abundance of data, and our collective challenge and opportunity is to make these data open, understandable, and actionable. Data helps to highlight and prioritize opportunities for collaboration among global, national, and sub-national stakeholders to achieve specific development targets, local impact, and most importantly, to improve lives. However, data in sub-Saharan Africa remains constrained, particularly at the sub-national level where development needs are often greatest, yet capacity to use data to inform, drive and measure development is most limited.

Country-Based Design and Implementation

Diagram: country-based design for MCC and PEPFAR partnership projects

Source: MCC

Data Collaboratives projects are informed by collaboration with local and international stakeholders. MCC and PEPFAR performed assessments of country-level data and open data ecosystems, focusing on key areas discovered during scoping: data generation and sharing (supply), data access and use (demand), technical capacity within the country, and the overall enabling policy, political and cultural environment. Country-based implementation partners were selected through a competitive open contracting process to adapt projects to local needs, to increase capacity of local partners and to ensure sustainability.

MCC’s Expertise in Data

MCC has developed extensive experience setting up country-led programs inspired by data and using data to inform decision-making for better outcomes. MCC is a world leader in data transparency, ranked as the second-most transparent aid organization in the world according to Publish What You Fund’s 2016 Aid Transparency Index.

MCC is committed to ensuring that the exponential pace of the data revolution enables more inclusive growth, innovation, and participation by communities that have pressing development needs and could benefit from greater data and technology capacity to use data and technology.

PEPFAR’s Expertise in Data

PEPFAR is using and sharing data in unprecedented ways for greater transparency, accountability, and impact. To do the right things in the right places right now, PEPFAR is using data to strategically target geographic areas and populations with the highest HIV burden to accelerate progress toward epidemic control.

PEPFAR is also opening its data through the PEPFAR Dashboards, enabling all to view, download and utilize PEPFAR data to optimize program effectiveness and foster mutual accountability. PEPFAR is committed to putting data at the center of decision-making and achieve the greatest impact for investments toward achieving an AIDS-free generation.

Tanzania Data Lab (dLab)

Lead Partner

University of Dar es Salaam University Computing Center (UCC), Tanzania

Other Partners

SBC4D, Open Data Institute, Intrahealth.


Carol Ndosi, dLab Managing Director


The Tanzania Data Lab will be an open work space where data from multiple sectors and sources can be combined, processed, and shared to drive better policies and decision-making. The Lab will be a center of activity, connecting the data revolution to national priorities, global commitments, and diverse programs and investments. It will serve as an anchor for the DCLI program, enabling data analysis and use to become more prominent in decision-making in Tanzania.

Lab activities will include training in data literacy and analysis, focused content-area data analytics, and the development of “use cases” to showcase how data can be used to improve lives. The Data Lab will support the development of a roadmap, assisting Tanzania in monitoring progress toward meeting the SDGs.


Cooperative agreements signed in March 2016; implementation underway.

Data for Local Impact Innovation Challenge

Data Zetu