The Sustainable Engineering Lab has been working with the Nigerian government to support a process of data-driven local planning. Working with planners at the Local Government Area (LGA) level, we have created a planning process that incorporates up-to-date data about health, education, and public water facilities in that LGA. The Nigeria MDGs Information System (NMIS; MDGs stands for Millennium Development Goals) displays this data to the local planners, using maps, tables, and other digestible forms of information. I lead the data and software teams for this project, ensuring that data systems and the NMIS web application meet our local planners’ needs.
NMIS serves as a key anchor between data and human systems to make planning data-driven in Nigeria. NMIS aggregates and visualizes information coming through a data system that begins with data collection on Android phones. Local planners use NMIS, along with community consultation and domain knowledge accrued from experience and training, to write proposals to improve health and education in their LGAs. NMIS is also used during by national-level proposal reviewers to verify development needs articulated by the local planner.