Governments, development partners (DPs), and implementers spend millions of dollars every year collecting data on results. The post-2015 development agenda calls for more results indicators and larger investments in data. At this inflection point, we examine a critical question: how do we make these investments most effective?
Development Gateway (DG), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is studying how results data is collected, shared, and used across the health and agriculture sectors in three countries: Ghana, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka. This report synthesizes our findings from Sri Lanka.
Development Gateway sought to shed light on results data collection systems and processes in health and agriculture sectors in Sri Lanka. We focused on ways to improve the quality, utility and sharing of results data. Based on this analysis, DG developed recommendations for improving results delivery and performance management. We explored how to develop a culture that allows results—both good and bad—to be openly discussed and encourage mutual learning for improved decision making. The goal is to inform broader Managing for Development Results efforts in the country, particularly in light of upcoming 2016/17 budget-planning processes. With limited government resources, there is strong need for both value for money in government expenditures and clear, public evidence on progress made toward national goals. We hope these insights inform future investments in results-based management in Sri Lanka, and will be useful for the international community focused on development data and results.
What Do We Mean By Results?
Our definition of “results” comprises both output and outcome data. We define outputs as the goods and services delivered through activities – such as immunizations or farmer trainings. We define outcomes as evidence of effects on target populations – such as maternal mortality rates or increase in household incomes.