Why is Data Important?
In many countries, the government and select elites have a MONOPOLY ON PRODUCING AND DISTRIBUTING INFORMATION. That means that only a few people control the flow of information, e.g. bidding, contracts and budgets. When this information is made available to the public, we call this TRANSPARENCY. However, even with greater transparency, the government still has a monopoly on producing information. Monitoring is thus, a way to create alternative channels of information. In fact, when communities monitor project implementation in rural and insecure areas that government officials cannot frequently visit, they are CREATING PARALLEL KNOWLEDGE about development projects. These types of information do not currently exist.