Bintou Kassambara (26) dreams that her six-year-old daughter will one day be able to accomplish what she could not do: get a secondary school education. Having started primary school late in her town of Dioro, 150 kilometers away from Mali’s capital, Bamako, Kassambara was 20 years old when she was in the seventh grade. As a result, her family ended up pulling her out to get her married. “I’ll not let that happen to my daughter,” she vows.1
Millions of mothers like Kassambara in Mali stand an excellent chance of seeing conditions improve significantly for their children, thanks to the role that DevInfo is playing to strengthen inter-agency efforts among development partners to produce greater results for Malian women and children. As the nationally-chosen tool to monitor the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other development plans, Mali’s DevInfo database is being used to generate compelling evidence to advocate in favor of developing a national child protection policy and engaging municipalities in supporting child rights issues.
The development and launch ofMalikunnafoni, a country adaptation of DevInfo available on CD as well as on the web, marked a key milestone in tracking development progress in Mali.Malikunnafoni, which means “Information on Mali,” is a national socio-economic database maintained and updated by the National Statistics Institute (INSTAT), with regular statistical input from the various government ministry departments.
The tool helps in the collation and organization of multi-sectoral information, and it contributes to data analysis in the country by facilitating the presentation of statistics in the form of tables, graphs and maps and the creation of standard yearly reports.
The database has greatly strengthened Mali’s national statistical system by harmonizing the various development indicators being monitored by development partners and ensuring the international comparability of Malian statistics. It also provides an efficient means to disseminate information to decision makers at all levels.
A strong partnership was established around DevInfo in Mali through the signature in 2008 of a MOU involving the Government, the World Bank, UNDP and UNICEF for scaling up the utilization ofMalikunnafoni, to better monitor progress towards achieving the MDGs as well as the objectives outlined in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PSRP) and the UN Development Assistance Framework for Mali. This decision was taken in response to evidence of the growing use ofMalikunnafoniby various sectors of the national government.
The various development partners, in coordination with the Government of Mali, have agreed that having a shared DevInfo database in Mali maximizes efficiency as well as encourages the sustainability of regular database maintenance. In fact, the PSRP Coordination Unit and INSTAT encourage donors to contribute to a single shared DevInfo database.
With DevInfo helping to strengthen inter-agency efforts to usher in more rapid human development progress in Mali, the country’s most vulnerable populations – particularly women and children like Kassambara and her daughter – stand a far better chance of breaking the cycle of poverty.
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact Moriba Doumbia, INSTAT email@example.com.
1 Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, "Mali Women Push for Girls Education," Voice of America,http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Mali- Women-Push-for-Girls-Education-89109122.html, 25 March 2010.