Since 2000,Mundukide Fundazioa– a small NGO based in the Basque Country of Spain – has been working in northern Mozambique on a variety of rural economic development projects, such as improving feeder roads, sharing agricultural techniques, and spurring the creation of rural businesses. Thanks to a combination of dedicated project staff and strong collaboration with local partners over the past decade, the NGO has witnessed strong, positive outcomes resulting from its targeted interventions across numerous rural communities.
Energized and encouraged by the fruits of its labor, the NGO decided in 2010 to expand its work to another sub-Saharan African country. After carefully considering which countries would be the best fit in terms of matching local needs with what they could offer, project staff narrowed the choice down to three: Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania.
Using DevInfo to identify project regions
“I stumbled across DevInfo a few years ago on the Internet, while looking for software to help map socio-economic data,” explained Beñat Arzadun, Project Manager, Mundukide Fundazioa. “I went through some of the e-learning materials on the DevInfo website and realized that using the software to search for data is quite intuitive.”
NGO project staff learned that Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi all had launched national socio-economic databases in DevInfo format, so they approached the DevInfo Support Group in November 2011 for assistance in acquiring downloadable copies of the same.
Upon receipt of the databases, project staff searched the data to help determine which sub-national regions of these three countries possessed the best conditions for their project implementation. Specifically, they looked for indicators pointing to which regions had a greater need in improving family agriculture, which regions
Filling in a data gap faced by many NGOs
“After using the DevInfo databases to help us decide which provinces to visit in each country, we conducted field visits to all three countries in November and December 2011,” stated Arzadun.
Reflecting upon the process leading up to the eventual selection of the NGO’s new project site,
Arzadun sees DevInfo filling in a key data gap faced by many NGOs. “I think there is a great need for NGOs to adopt a more quantitative, data-driven approach in much of our work, and I see DevInfo helping to make this possible.”
With DevInfo data at their fingertips, NGOs such as Mundukide Fundazioa are much better positioned to targeted limited resources more effectively, particularly in the area of overseas development assistance.
For more information, please contact Beñat Arzadun, Project Manager, Mundukide Fundazioa, at firstname.lastname@example.org.