new global development site

New global development website over at the Guardian. According to the press release:

“The Guardian today has launched a new website in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help focus the world’s attention on global development. The site will provide a new space for discussion and interaction on the biggest challenges affecting the lives of billions of people across the developing world, including poverty, hunger, infant mortality, adaptation to climate change and economic development.”

The site itself can be found here. I haven’t explored much yet, but so far the datastore looks particularly interesting…

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.