Open Data for Africa, Youth Participation and Assessing Progress towards the MDGs

This blog, written by Ousmane Aly Diallo, is  part of the Wikiprogress focus on its Africa Network*.

 “African societies, like any other societies indeed, have to measure progress. But more importantly they have to define what is meant by progress. They have to hold a dialogue in a way that has not been done before.” – Pali Lehohla (Director General of Statistics South Africa).

Welcome to this week’s review of progress initiatives, articles and reports that focus on Africa. Here are the highlights from this week:

  • The Global Humanitarian Assistance Report has been released. This year’s report focuses on how international assistance has responded to humanitarian crisis, with sections on funding, recent emergencies and quick response to humanitarian crisis. The report sheds light on the growing role of non-traditional donors, the increasing levels of unmet humanitarian needs, as well as the importance of transparency and access to reliable information. 
  • Abuja+12: Shaping the future of health in Africa. African Heads of Governments and States pledged during the AU Abuja Summit to eliminate pandemics, such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, in Africa by 2030, as well as improve their national health systems and strengthen their pharmaceutical capacities. This summit helped to renew the commitments made during the Millennium Summit and the Abuja Summit in 2001.

  • The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013 by UNDP, looks at the areas where action is needed most (i.a. hunger; maternal health; sanitation and environmental protection). This report also shows that the achievement of the MDGs has been uneven among and within countries.

  • The Open Data for Africa initiative, hosted by AfDB, is now available for all 54 African countries. It is part of AfDB’s “Africa Information Highway” initiative, aiming to improve data collection, management, and dissemination in Africa. It will allow open access to the necessary data in order to manage and monitor development results in African countries, including tracking progress on the MDGs. (See video below.)

  • The Economist devoted a special report on the Arab Spring, two years after its inception. The author Max Roedenbeck argues that the aspirations behind the movement are yet to be met and he proceeds to review what has been achieved so far. Duncan Green of Oxfam reviews the report and highlights its main points in this post.

  • Malala Yousafzai spoke at the United Nations General Assembly this 12 July in defense of education for all, particularly for young girls. This blog, outlines three necessary steps to increase youth participation: listening, increasing involvement in decision-making as well as involvement in the implementation process.

We hope you enjoyed the week-in-review. Stay tuned the same time next week for another riveting read on the week that was.

 Yours in progress,

* Wikiprogress Africa Network aims, to provide a platform for knowledge sharing on measuring progress in an Africa context.