A New Data-Driven Decision Making Guide


The New Data-Driven Decision Making Guide

The year 2022 marks IDELA’s 8th year anniversary since it was first launched. The number of IDELA individual users has now reached 900 with over 160 partnerships. The team receives notable reports and datasets from different countries and organizations attesting to the difference IDELA is making around the world- providing ECCD programs, donors and government partners with clear evidence on the status of children from 3.5 to 6 years; and helping them make informed decisions about what areas of their programs, policies or intervention strategies work and which areas require improvement.

This year, putting into consideration the wide usage of the IDELA tool, the team made extra efforts to publish the new Data-Driven Decision Making Guide with the conviction that applied research, if appropriately planned, executed, and utilized, can contribute to identifying issues and their causes, solving societal problems, and improving the wellbeing of people and communities. In particular, this Guide focuses on the use of data to improve the learning and development of young children, a population that benefits significantly from positive home, caregiver, and classroom investments. While evidence generated from research improves the quality of decision-making in general, this is even more so in the case of ECCD. Positive effects of ECCD services and programs on child development and learning might be difficult to perceive and quantify for decision-makers as well as for the beneficiaries.

To this end, the goal of this Guide is to help organizations and individuals using IDELA to establish their own connections between IDELA data and the goal of improving quality and effectiveness of ECCD programs. The Guide offers a step-by-step guidance through the processes of research design, communication, and stakeholder engagement that together, creates lasting impact for children.

This Guide is intended for everyone who uses IDELA to assess the learning and development of young children. It may also be useful for anyone in need of clear examples of data-driven decision-making. IDELA users typically use findings generated from their work to advocate for changes and improvements to ECCD programs. This Guide will help them to effectively utilize findings to influence decision-making and to advocate for change with policy-makers, practitioners, and communities.

Numerous papers, articles, and reports assert the importance of data-driven decision making. Many of them examine the cyclical nature of conducting and applying research, the need to involve all essential stakeholders in the process of planning research, the importance of effectively communicating research findings to relevant audiences, developing actionable recommendations, and advocating improvements based on the arguments built on the evidence. However, the process of applying empirical evidence from research to practice is rarely, if ever, so easy and straightforward and this Guide works to bridge the gap between data and evidence based decision-making with specific practical guidance.