The data lifecycle is rarely viewed from the point of view of the people we seek to serve. It is almost always thought about from the view of organisation. The basic principle is that data moves through several stages from the time it is initially collected through eventual disposal. There are many variations from 3 stages to 9 and everything in between. These variations iterate on a version of:
PLAN -> COLLECT -> ANALYSE -> USE -> STORE -> RE-USE/DISPOSE
This is the organisational perspective rather than the perspective of the aid recipient. For the recipient the data lifecycle is much shorter:
DATA COLLECTED -> UNKNOWN ACTION BY AGENCY -> POSSIBLY RECEIVE AID, BUT MAYBE NOT
Two of the best things we can do is reduce the unknown aspects of stages 2 and 3 for the recipients. And secondly, help them understand what happens with their data. It’s all about conversations and engagements to create awareness. Taking the time to care, to look the recipient in the eye and explain. They are not numbers on a screen, but people like you and me.
It sounds simple. Even common sense. And yet, unbelievably rare.
The choice is up to us.