Data is important for good public policy

(Photo: Freepik)

Fares Braizat

The writer is chairman of NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions

Worthy public policy is driven by data and empirical evidence. The process of data-driven public policy making must be improved significantly to achieve the objectives and goals of Jordan’s economic vision 2033, modernization of the political system, and the administrative reform plans. اضافة اعلان

This requires a few prerequisites.

First, an undeterred belief in the policy itself, which in this case, are the three components of reform. First and foremost, leaders of the public sector and its institutions that should be interested in, and are entrusted with the implementation of the vision must hold this belief. It is essential for the ministerial steering committee to make sure that the “troops are in it to win it” not to obstruct it in seamless bureaucratic power pathways.

The enthusiasm that accompanied the making of the vision’s components has abated. We have very little time to turn things around, and much less patience among the overwhelming majority of Jordanians, as polls have been showing for a while.

Second, useful public policies need reliable, validated, accurate, relevant, and timely data. The economic vision document expects the private sector to contribute 70 percent of the JD41 billion investment needed to realize the 2033 vision, yet, the data is not made publicly available in due time for entrepreneurs and companies to make investment decisions. Comparatively speaking, in all competitive economies around the region, including in UAE, Saudi Arabi, and Israel, data is publicly available for investors and research firms to do their research for investment decisions.
… useful public policies need reliable, validated, accurate, relevant, and timely data.
Third, public policies require a data-driven performance evaluation. It is not enough to have whimsical “judgmental” evaluation. Judgements are for those who are neither capable of data-driven scientific thinking nor desire it. The outcome of judgmental evaluation is more of the same impediments to private sector investment and growth. Therefore, the performance of committees that were formed to realize the vision should be systemized, digitized, and made publicly available.

Fourth, sectoral data must be published on daily, weekly, and monthly basis. It is of very little value to have sectoral data published a year or two after its collection. With the digital streamlining of data collection, realities are changing faster than public sector bureaucracy realizes. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize data management and make it available.

Fares Braizat in the chairman of NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions and former minister of youth

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