Often the conversations around data interoperability focus solely on the organisations collecting the data and the donors who demand the data. The other side of the coin is the people about whom the data is. Rarely, do we talk about them or consider how to enable them to have access to the data. Too often the conversation is framed around control. Not explicitly mind you, but it is an unstated foundation.
But here’s the thing, it is the same coin. Societies work well when we have both federated and portable data systems. Not one or the other, but both. My drivers licence is issued by the government, but I can use it for proving who I am, my address, my age, and so on in other areas of my life without the involvement of the government.
Federated and portable – it possible and necessary. It’s time the aid community shifts to this thinking.
The choice is up to us.