Jeeveeta S. Agnihotri, Chief Programme Officer, Community Systems Foundation
Rakkshet Singhal, Programme Advisor, Community Systems Foundation
In today's world, data has become the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability. Recognizing the role of data in good governance, São Tomé and Príncipe's Ministry of Planning, Finance, and Blue Economy (MPFEA) and the Statistics Office(INE), with the technical support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and in partnership with Community Systems Foundation (CSF) developed the STPDados Platform to monitor national priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), at national and subnational levels.
CSF previously collaborated with São Tomé to implement DevInfo, a tool used to monitor the Millennium Development Goals. As the world transitioned to a new set of priorities - the SDGs - CSF also transitioned to a new set of software applications under the Data For All Initiative to provide the government with an open-source data toolkit designed to compile and manage reliable and timely data for programme planning, service delivery, transparency, and accountability. In São Tomé and Príncipe, data is collected around four primary goals:
Goal 1 - Transform São Tomé and Príncipe into a Dynamic Service Delivery Economy
Goal 2 - Promote Inclusive Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability
Goal 3 - Ensuring Social Inclusion and Protection, Reducing Social Inequalities and Regional Asymmetries
Goal 4 - Strengthen Sovereignty, Deepen Democracy and Renew Diplomacy for the Development
CSF assisted with the migration of data from DevInfo and developed a data dissemination platform and mobile application for the government of São Tomé. Furthermore, in order to ensure broader access and national ownership, CSF ensured that the platform was deployed in Portuguese, making it easily accessible for all members of the government and the citizens of the country. CSF also provided numerous in-country training and support sessions to assist the government with the management of the various data products, which ultimately led to database ownership by the government. As of today, the platform serves to disseminate the latest MICS 6 data and will soon also help disseminate the latest household survey data.
In November this year, the Ministry of Planning conducted a data dissemination campaign with the objective of presenting the STPDados platform to various stakeholders, namely the technical teams of the M&E departments of all the ministries, to all the six municipalities of São Tomé as well as key decision-makers. There was an overall appreciation of this national decision-making platform. The team at MOP plans to continue this campaign with the university researchers and students in early 2023.. To ensure that the team is well-skilled in the management of the database, there are 2 days of internal training exercises this month to update the database with the latest Inquete du Buguet des Famile (IOF) data.
The STPDados Platform serves as the ideal illustration to understand the flexibility and adaptability of the DFA Toolkit to the country context and its utilization by countries across the world, including small island developing governments, to effectively distribute data for effective decision-making.