A new smartphone-based data system called Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) has started giving governments a better version of this information every six to 12 months. In addition to collecting more data more frequently, PMA2020 also cuts in half the time it takes to analyse the data, so insights reach decision-makers faster.
Governments have begun to act on what they're learning. The Uganda Health Ministry, for example, found from its surveys that younger people weren't using family planning services. As a result, the government made reaching them a top priority in its national family planning strategy. (And PMA2020 adjusted its survey to uncover the key misconceptions that prevented young people from using contraception.) Instead of waiting five years to find out whether and how that outreach is working, Ugandan leaders will know within a year.