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Our 2023 year-end reflections

IDinsighters Kim Vidal and Dominique Sy pose for a photo with barangay health ​workers in the Philippines. ©IDinsight

Dear IDinsight Community,

As we look across the globe in 2023, we see repeated calls for respect: For marginalized and oppressed voices to be heard, to be valued, and for people to have an equitable chance at achieving their aspirations. In the social sector we saw increasing requests for rigorous evidence that gives voice to citizen input and fosters participation. We heard more asks for responsive and inclusive policies and programs.

Our teams around the world rose to this challenge. In 2023, we developed innovative ways to measure the hard things like felt respect, dignity, and autonomy. We worked side-by-side with policymakers to produce reliable data and went the extra mile to ensure marginalized voices – especially women – were heard. We collaborated with large government partners to orient civil servants towards impact and set systems in place to improve their performance. 

Our proudest efforts this year have centered around people – as we do our part to revolutionize the role data plays in improving their lives – both from the bottom up and the top down.

Historically, dignity has not always been at the forefront of evidence-based policymaking. Yet, it is foundational to well-being and self-efficacy, better functioning democratic spheres, greater cooperation, and increased service uptake. IDinsight made notable contributions this year, for example developing and sharing a self-assessment tool for organizations to audit their programs, as well as supporting partners to assess whether they are upholding the dignity of their beneficiaries and communities.

Advocacy efforts to promote equity also play a role in influencing systemic change. East and Southern Africa Regional Director, Frida Njogu-Ndongwe wrote in her op-ed in Devex, “Gender parity is a matter of human rights. Beyond this ethical imperative, however, evidence points to the effectiveness of women’s representation in public leadership in accelerating progress.” While these areas of focus are important for counting what matters most, both intrinsically and instrumentally, it is by equipping social sector leaders with reliable data that many of the insights we collect can be put into action.

High-quality evidence is a key ingredient in promoting more inclusive policies. DataDelta lead Sarah Lucas wrote, “Data quality is ultimately about voice, equity, and justice. It is about creating a direct pipeline from the minds and hearts of people to the desks of technocrats.” A nationally representative survey in the Philippines this year is illustrative of this vision, with findings informing the Department of Health’s health promotion campaigns. Recommendations from this survey are likely to inform how barangay health workers communicate about routine vaccinations for children. 

Service delivery is not just about policies, it’s also about the competencies and professional development of civil servants and frontline workers. Our “building state capacity” work in India this year focused on improving civil servants’ productivity and effectiveness through performance management, including the ways government workers measure success internally and hold themselves accountable. We are looking at what skills and motivation people need to do the work well and how that affects their impact. 

“These experiences brought us closer to our vision of improving public service delivery and making governance more citizen-centric,” our India Regional Director, Karan Nagpal, wrote.

We are headed into 2024 with a strong foundation. It is a foundation predicated on the belief that data can elevate voices, foster inclusivity, and contribute to a world that upholds the dignity of every person.

With gratitude to our team, partners, and supporters for joining us on this journey, 

P.S. Read more about our work this year in our 2023 Year-in-Review
P.P.S Stay tuned for news very soon about our incoming new CEO!