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Senegal and Indonesia: South-South cross-fertilization on data collection methods

Posted date: 
Thu, 09/30/2010
In Senegal, the first National Programme for Good Governance (which ended in 2007) suffered from a lack of coordination amongst governance actors, and from the absence of a monitoring framework to help track results and inform decision-making. The ‘second edition’ (2007-11) of the Programme addressed these deficiencies head-on by establishing a new unit (DREAT) responsible for the coordination of all governance projects and programmes in Senegal, and for monitoring progress towards achieving the objectives outlined in the Programme.
In an effort to enhance the quality of governance monitoring in Senegal, the coordinating unit (DREAT) steering the implementation of the national governance programme has embarked on a participatory process for developing a monitoring framework. During a first workshop held in September 2009, representatives from the central and local governments, the planning commission, the parliament and senate, civil society, universities, etc. formed thematic working groups to develop a indicators for this monitoring framework.
The next step of this process consisted in selecting appropriate data collection methods for measuring these indicators, and in fleshing out measurement guidelines for each indicator (e.g. identifying data sources, specifying the scoring criteria, etc.) During a second workshop on 24-26 June (see workshop presentations and material here, in French), Mr. Abdul Malik, Coordinator of the Governance Assessment Unit at Kemitraan, a leading Indonesian NGO, was invited to share his experience in developing data collection tools for Indonesia’s provincial Governance Index.
Mr. Malik’s account of the Indonesian process led to some animated discussions about the pros and cons of various data collection instruments. Perhaps most importantly, the sample ‘data collection matrices’ presented by Mr. Malik provided a real-life example of the level of details required for guiding data collection. “It is crucial to minimize ambiguity in the data collection process, in order to ensure a consistent and rigorous approach to measurement across the country, and over time. At the end of the day, your data will be used if it is seen to be credible, and it will be seen to be credible if you can back it up with detailed measurement guidelines for each indicator,” said Mr. Malik.  
Sample measurement guidelines for the collection of administrative data (budget, planning documents, statistics, audit reports, etc.) and for the collection of data from focus group discussions were shared with the Senegalese, and provided a helpful starting point for the design of data collection instruments specifically tailored to the Senegalese context. To support the development of a survey instrument, the workshop also benefited from the participation of the French research institute DIAL, a partner of the Global Programme. DIAL has expertise in supporting national statistical offices in collecting governance data by adding a governance module to household surveys.
With technical support from the Oslo Governance Centre, the data collection tools elaborated by the thematic working groups during this workshop are currently being refined, and data collection is expected to start in the fall.