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How can NGOs and no profit become truly data-driven and improve evidence-based decision-making processes? These organisations all have access to large datasets, which are often not used at their full potential. In the worst cases, these data are not used or used at a bare minimum, like for example just for donor reporting. This means that these organisations are missing the chance to improve their operations and to catch opportunities that the data can highlight.

In 2020, digital innovators from Save the Children, the Max Foundation, Amref Flying Doctors, MCNV, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked together in the Partos Digital Journey to develop a framework with a step by step guidance and supporting tools to help NGOs and no profit organisations in becoming better in the ways they use and leverage data.

Streamlining the use of data in an organisation requires the contribution of various components: it is not only about having the right set of skills in a team, it has also to do with an organisation’s culture, and with the way data and findings related to them are communicated. The guidance developed explains these and other components and provides directions for improvement under each component.
Looking at existing literature, with the support of some experts and based on the group members experiences and expertise, the ‘data-driven organisation framework’ was developed. The framework includes 10 steps, divided in 3 phases and for which 3 levels of maturity have been identified.

So, how was the framework developed and what does it include?
1. We mapped out the key components for becoming data-driven organisations: we identified 10 components divided in 3 phases
2. For each component, we specified 3 levels of maturity (starter, intermediate, leading edge), and developed guidance on how to move from one level to the next
3. The combination of the 10 components and the 3 levels in a framework can be used as a self-assessment tool for organisations, to check where they stand and what the next level looks like in the journey to becoming data-driven
4. The guidance and useful links can help organisations reflect on which components they should focus on, and whether that step is a priority for them
5. The tools under each component and level can help organisations to take action and move to the next level

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