Key lessons on ‘data for development’ in book launched at Raisina Dialogue

Nurturing lives, building futures

New Delhi, March 03, 2023: Micro Matters: Using Data for Development in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a publication by Reliance Foundation and Observer Research Foundation (ORF) on how data is driving social impact at the grassroots, was launched today at the Raisina Dialogue 2023. The book is the third in a series by Reliance Foundation and ORF about transformations in development and governance.

Micro Matters explores eight interventions by organisations in India that are advancing the country’s D4D agenda by gathering data; processing it to evolve insights; translating insights into actions; and making a social impact. It also identifies key replicable lessons from the design and execution of these initiatives.

Introducing the book, Mr. Jagannatha Kumar, CEO, Reliance Foundation, said the cases it describes are examples of the D4D approach that is a core priority of the Indian G20 Presidency. “Micro Matters shows how organisations in India use data to drive sustainable development in healthcare, education, disaster preparedness, women’s empowerment, and agriculture. With India recognised by many as representing the interests of the Global South both within and beyond the G20, there is no better time than now to integrate the principles of D4D into the global development agenda,” he added.

Dr. Samir Saran, President, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), said that India’s status as a global digital powerhouse makes it a key voice in the evolving discourse on D4D. “India launched a series of potentially game-changing data initiatives in the run-up to its G20 Presidency, including efforts to make datasets publicly available; strengthen measures for data privacy and security; and use emerging tech to engage with data. The cases in Micro Matters reflect many of these imperatives,” he noted.

Lessons from Micro Matters

The eight D4D-related lessons from Micro Matters are:
(i) Amalgamate tech-based data collection with the use of legacy datasets and knowledge;
(ii) Use dashboards to communicate real-time data and trends to decision-makers;
(iii) Optimise the use of emerging technologies to collect and analyse data;
(iv) Incorporate ancillary services into the design of D4D interventions;
(v) Build trust by ensuring data confidentiality and security;
(vi) Visualise the scalability and replicability of D4D projects from their conception;
(vii) Provide alternate solutions where connectivity and access are a challenge; and
(viii) Work collaboratively and adopt a multi-stakeholder approach.

From AI for smallholder farmers to dashboards for maternal health, the real-life experiences in the publication go beyond data and interventions, and offer pathways for lasting change.

For more information on our partner organisations for this initiative and to download the publication click here: https://reliancefoundation.org/micro-matters