Leaders in Mbeya, Tanzania, review community data before developing an action plan for improved data use.


Develop a roadmap to improve data informed decision-making

Who is this resource for?

This resource is useful to any team or organization—especially a local government—who wants a specific, costed action plan to improve its data-informed decision making over time. Use this resource to inform a new budget or strategy, or to identify areas for potential investment (by your organization or other funders).

What does this resource include?

This resource contains:

  • A real-world example subnational data roadmap
  • A how-to guide to develop your own roadmap
  • A budget template to help cost out your roadmap

Who owns and updates this resource?

This resource is hosted online by the Tanzania Data Lab (dLab), a center of excellence for data science and use based at the College of ICT at the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania.

For questions, ideas, or comments, please contact

What intangible assets are needed?

The team behind a data roadmap should be skilled at facilitating dialog, synthesizing research, and writing clearly. They should also be familiar with government systems, procedures, and policies related to data management, privacy, and other related fields. A good team might include a “fixer” with strong stakeholder relationships, and a data specialist who can lead the research and writing. International consultants shouldn’t necessarily lead the process but can help with desk research, communication, editing, and publication.

What other resources could help?

Many efforts are under way to support strategic, data informed decision-making in local governments:

How do I get started?

Begin by reading this blog post about the data roadmap development experience. Next, scan the example roadmap, and then read the how-to guide if you or a partner would like to develop a similar data roadmap.

Are the costs worth the while?

Total costs will vary based on the context and country where this effort is being led. Implementers should assume that this may cost between $15,000 and $25,000, with a high percentage of these costs being allocated to the individual leading the research and writing, as well as hosting critical meetings with subnational stakeholders for early and frequent feedback. Early results from the Data Zetu program indicate that the value of the roadmap is far reaching and the participatory process of developing and sharing the tool is a critical step in the process of fostering locally driven ownership for a data revolution. As such, though the cost is not unsubstantial, the value of this investment has the potential to be significant.


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