Guidance is not the problem

by | Sep 17, 2021 | ICT4D |


‘How did you not know about this guidance document?’

‘I don’t know, I just didn’t’

‘Well it’s been around for years.’

‘I didn’t know.’

The above conversation is repeated multiple times a day in organisations around the globe. It can be about policies, toolkits, business processes, and so on. Organisations spend a significant amount of money each year in an attempt to be compliant with various regulations, audits, or even best practice. However, having a policy, toolkit, or guidance document does not create change, it creates compliance.

Awareness and implementation are completely different than creation. And most organisations stop at creation. This one of the reasons we can have an amazing list of resources for responsibly managing data including countless principles with long lists of organisations that have signed up to them and yet have poor implementation of them. We tend to audit for documents not application.

Guidance has no chance against priorities. If data management is not a priority, no amount of guidance will change that. Afghanistan shows us this. Figuring out how to change the incentives and priorities is our collective challenge.

The choice is up to us.

Photo by Russ Ward


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