Strengthening Sub-National Data Value Chains in Sub-Saharan Africa

Project Period

June 2020 - December 2024

Most countries in Africa have made progress over the last decades towards achieving SDGs, particularly Goal 8, which promotes sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all, and Goal 10, which promotes reduced inequality within and among countries. A large part of the processes to monitor progress towards achievement of these goals so far have focused on strengthening national statistical systems that provide data for national-level decision-making.

Sub-national levels of governance are important layers to consider in the achievement of national-level development targets, particularly in Africa. In most countries, the service delivery of critical social sectors is devolved to sub-national administrative units, where budget and program implementation decisions are made, including recruitment of personnel, purchase of goods and services, and actual service delivery, with the national level providing policy direction and financial resources. Therefore, monitoring progress and tracking performance for evidence-based decision-making, particularly at sub-national levels, which automatically has similar effects at national levels is important.

This requires the existence, and utility of strengthened data systems that address the data demand and supply needs, including novel approaches to the description, collection, storage, integration, and analysis of large, heterogeneous, structured, and unstructured data sets,– both at the sub-national and national levels. Understanding the available efforts to catalyze strengthened data systems that are more adapted to local contexts is important. Although most of the enabling factors for a catalytic data supply side are already in place in most African countries, including data production and reporting, government support, budding private sector engagement, and increasing interest from academic and research institutions, efforts to facilitate learning across different sectors (e.g. health, education, agriculture; employment; mining; etc…) and levels at country level are unknown.

It is in this context that APHRC is implementing since 2020 a project that is intended to strengthen national and sub-national data systems with a view to addressing the data demand and supply needs in select subnational units in Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, and Uganda.

The proposed project aims to fill evident gaps in national data ecosystems through the implementation of catalytic micro-examples for strengthening sub-national data systems in select countries and creating opportunities for youth employment and Africa-led growth.

The overall goal is to strengthen data systems for planning and decision-making at national and sub-national levels. Specific objectives of this project are to:

  1. Co-create micro-examples of good data systems suited to different sub-national governance structures that address gaps across the whole data value chain.
  2. Explore different approaches to sustainable capacity strengthening and the role of African academic institutions in building local data systems and capacity, including student internships and supervision.
  3. Identify good practices and appropriate entry points that provide the greatest impact on data uptake and use within sub-national systems
  4. Determine the most cost-effective way of building sustainable data systems to support sub-national level decision-making.

Project Results

The Gates Data System project is making significant strides in several countries including Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Uganda, focusing on key result areas.

In the field of health, the project has aimed to collect data encompassing every aspect of the input-to-outcome continuum of healthcare, with a particular emphasis on DHIS2 and routine health information.

Education is another critical area, encompassing early childhood development education (ECDE), vocational training, basic education, and religious education. The project has focused on the Education Management Information System (EMIS) to streamline data collection and management in this domain and feeding into the subnational data systems.

Agriculture data is sourced from multiple channels, specific to different crops, revealing existing data gaps that need to be addressed.

Monitoring and analyzing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) data is crucial for tracking progress and performance related to health targets such as universal health coverage, infection prevention, patient safety, and child and maternal health.

Collecting reliable data on youth employment in Africa is challenging due to infrequent data collection practices in most countries.

Additionally, the project recognizes the importance of data pertaining to immigration, land issues, fishing, and other domains, tailored to specific needs and requirements across the implementing countries. Functional data systems have been setup in the selected areas within the four countries. The platforms are accessible through the following links:

Project Period

  • Start Date: January 2020
  • End Date: December 2024

Additional links to directly related APHRC or partner research


Development initiative:  

Burkina Faso










  • Institut De Recherche En Science De La Sante (IRSS)
  • Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population (ISSP)
  • Institut National De La Statistique (INS)
  • Université Abdou Moumouni (UAM)
  • Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Agriculture (ENSA)
  • Development Initiatives (DI) 

Link to a case study/Link to a report

  • Scoping review reports for Uganda, Senegal, Niger and Burkina Faso