In a timely op-ed at Project Syndicate, Thoai Ngo, Director of the GIRL Center, argues that researchers, programmers, and donors should embrace open data as a critical tool to promote sound investments and ensure efforts to improve girls’ lives are informed by evidence, not intuition.
The op-ed comes on the heels of the launch of the GIRL Center’s Adolescent Data Hub, a unique global portal to share and access data on adolescents living in low and middle-income countries. Featuring the Population Council’s rich and unique body of longitudinal and cross-sectional data on adolescents, as well as other open data sets on adolescents and young people, the Adolescent Data Hub serves as an important resource to facilitate data sharing, research transparency, and a more collaborative research environment to drive continued progress for adolescents.
At launch, the Adolescent Data Hub contains data on more than 1.39 million adolescents and young people living in low-and middle-income countries. Currently this includes 128 data sets on adolescents in 77 countries.
"Using existing, openly shared data makes it easier for researchers to reach across disciplines and formulate the kinds of innovative questions and research agendas that are far more likely to lead to groundbreaking discoveries. Beyond accelerating progress, the collaboration supported by data sharing boosts researchers’ ability to secure the funding they need, because donors are excited by interdisciplinary, innovative work."