small victories in record keeping

While many of my photos from the summer were lost along with the laptop, I managed to salvage a few from the camera, including this one — an effort in birth certification in Arua regional hospital. Record keeping and data collection is a major challenge in Uganda. There is no national register or systematic record keeping of births and deaths. The national census, while extremely useful, is only administered every 10 years, with the next census report due in 2012 (they always fall conveniently after an election year). The absence of data makes planning a major challenge, and probably contributes significantly to corruption. It is easy to create ghost soldiers, ghost teachers, ghost medical workers, etc., when you cannot easily prove or disprove their existence. Has anyone looked into the correlation between a country’s data collection activities/capabilities and level of corruption? I’d love some data on that.

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