Good data is accurate, reliable, complete, precise, timely and can stand up to scrutiny. It allows us to see trends in disease, understand population movement, witness environmental change, and oversee commodity distribution. It also allows us to understand quality, experience and perspective. I acknowledge that data won’t solve everything. And not all data is perfect. But should that stop us from collecting information that improves our understanding of a situation?
I don’t think anyone would argue against the idea that data is essential for the design of effective programmes and policies. Leading international organization emphasizes the importance of data for development. Now it is our turn to demonstrate our commitment to the development of Thailand through effective use of information and a comprehensive understanding of the communities with which we work.
Or maybe you already understand the situation Do you really? Do your colleagues? Do the project designers? Every day the needs of individual and communities change. These communities a built of women, men, girls, boys, teachers, doctors, labors, migrants, people with disabilities, victims of violence. The list goes on. Every one of these individuals interacts with project activities in a different way, and it is our responsibility as change makers to ensure our decision making is based on the most accurate evidence available to us.
Consider for a moment the problems which may arise from not collecting good data. Our gap in understanding has the potential to misguide resources and funding towards interventions that may not reflect the most critical needs of the populations with which we work; has the potential to further exclude the needs of marginalized populations; and simply may lead to project failure. So what do we do? Raks Thai Foundation is rapidly growing, and as we do, it is critical that we make a conscious and sincere change in the way we think, plan and act, to ensure that our organization culture is one that reflects the world we live in. Technology and data is at our fingertips, and we should embrace it.
A commitment from our leadership was the starting point. Now every member of our organization has a role to play. Evidence-based decision making must become a norm, and that requires everyone to consider data as part of your job, not an added task when time is spare.It is up to us, as people of change, to ask the right questions, at the right time, to capture the right answers.Change won’t happen overnight, but each and every one of us has the capacity to contribute to an organization that thrives on data, and uses it to deliver innovative and evidence-based programming to the most underserved communities across Thailand.