Within the broad and all-important field of development, current pre-eminent approaches to informing decision-making, namely, Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) and routine Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), have not been able to fully address emerging questions in our fast-changing societies.
Continuous reliance on these tools will only stifle the African continent’s response and exacerbate present challenges. There is thus, need to rethink how we approach development and start using the right tools to address today’s development challenges.
In addition, current models of technical support to both governments and businesses fall short on key implementation areas, and this has an adverse effect on development outcomes. For instance, lack of adequate follow-up on completed projects leaves clients with unforeseen challenges, while the limited independence of consultants, on the other hand, stifles genuine innovation and creativity.
Finally, a skills gap of vast proportions exists across most African institutions. All-too-frequently, critical decisions are made without the aid of robust data, evidence, and critical thinking – all of which adversely impacts the implementation process and, crucially, development outcomes.
Big data, data science, and behavioural economics are exemplary 21st century innovations that provide Africa an opportunity to develop at a much faster pace and, amid greater effectiveness and efficiency, leapfrog certain stages of development. As a radical technical assistance partner leading the re-imagination of African development, Development Reimagination Group (DRG) aims introduce these new tools to development and engage a new breed of development consultants. There is need to blend established ways of doing development, with newer, powerful tools to support decision-making and policy implementation within the public, private and NGO sector.
DRG leverages rigorous and analytical thinking; harness the power of networks and collaboration; and deeply value honest engagement that prioritizes the needs of the client in order to optimize development outcomes.