Small and Big Data in Kinshasa and how to avoid travelling 10.000 km across DRC to get data!

There are many other stakeholders that hold valuable data for reporting on SDGs, ranging from Small up to Big Data sets. The project “Building a Data Collaborative to support SDGs on Health & WASH in Malawi and DRC” (supported by the Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data wants to harness this potential by building a Data Collaborative. The first step consists of bringing these stakeholders to the table in an inception workshop, with as objectives to create together an overview of the data ecosystem and to identify  barriers to data sharing.

In DRC, the OCDD of the Ministère du Plan et Suivi de la Révolution de la Modernité finished  a prioritization of the SDGs for four provinces Mid 2017, resulting in 58 SDG indicators selected (UNDP, 2017). The INS started mapping data from official statistics, such as census or surveys, on these indicators. However, official statistics alone will not be sufficient for an adequate, timely and granular reporting on SDGs.

On the 31st of January and the 1st of February, the Croix-Rouge de la République Démocratique du Congo, CartONG and the Netherlands Red Cross 510 data initiative organised this workshop in Collège Boboto’s cultural center in Kinshasa with about 40 participants from the government, NGOs, private sector and academia focusing on the Health SDGs. The Secretary General of the Croix-Rouge de la République Démocratique du Congo, Emmanuelle Mitanta Makusu, opened the workshop, followed by presentations of four key stakeholders: the Ministère du Plan et Suivi de la Révolution de la Modernité, the Ministry of Health (in relation to the Système National d’Information Sanitaire – SNIS), Doctors Without Borders/MSF, and DRC Red Cross.

The discussions and interactive exercises were very productive; one of the participants said he was happy the connections that he established could help him avoid having to travel 10.000 km across the vast DRC to obtain a certain data set. A number of concrete follow-up steps were agreed upon. The cross-sector connections that were established during the workshop will be further strengthened by increasing the awareness of existing platforms such as Référentiel Géographique Commun and SNIS/DHIS-2, by subsequently promoting the use of these and by lowering barriers for data sharing. Together with INS, the inventoried data will be mapped on the Health SDG indicators to identify gaps. Open Map Data will be explored, together with the OpenStreetMap community in DRC, as an innovative grassroots approach to bridge these data gaps.

We are now looking forward to organize a second workshop that will include more hands-on activities and trainings, probably around June. Big thanks to all the participants and in particular to the DRC Red Cross!

If you’re interested in the project in DRC, please contact or

You can find the complete report of the workshop here.

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