Mar 21, 2016

DeCODE: Leveraging Data to Address Delivery Challenges

Daniel Ortega Nieto , Operations Officer

With the objective of helping practitioners achieve better results, the Global Delivery Initiative (GDI) is developing DeCODE (Delivery Challenges in Operations for Development Effectiveness), an evidence-based system that uses historical project data to help anticipate delivery challenges based on previous occurrences. DeCODE also provides resources such as identifying practitioners that have faced specific delivery challenges, and it will eventually filter relevant knowledge products such as delivery case studies to help teams solve complex problems during implementation. 

DeCODE responds to several demands from task teams and will help them throughout the entire project cycle in a number of ways:

First, DeCODE will help bring the conversation about implementation problems a few notches down to more concrete terms by building a taxonomy of delivery challenges from the ground up. The taxonomy reflects the issues practitioners face on a daily basis and moves away from catch-all tags such as “political will” or “institutional weakness”, which don't provide useful information to frontline staff. 

Second, DeCODE makes use of historical data to calculate the probability that a particular delivery challenge might occur in a specific country and sector. By using data from previous projects, the system will help teams anticipate potential issues that might arise during implementation and take preemptive action.

Third, DeCODE will help build networks of problem solvers by identifying who has faced a particular delivery challenges in a specific sector and country. This feature provides frontline staff with an important tool for connecting with people that have experienced similar issues and might be able to help come up with a solution.

Fourth, DeCODE will help filter resources from the GDI such as delivery case studies, which illustrate how teams have navigated complex implementation processes. Based on the delivery challenge that the teams is facing or could face, DeCODE will identify relevant case studies or relevant knowledge products.

Fifth, DeCODE will eventually draw on data contributed by GDI partners, allowing practitioners worldwide to leverage evidence from more varied sources of experience to improve ability to predict potential delivery challenges. 

DeCODE has been beta-tested within the World Bank and is in the process of scaling up. We look forward to continuing to share updates, in this space and on the GDI website; in the end, we are absolutely certain that DeCODE is interesting, but our objective is for it to be useful.