Afghanistan’s future

In May 2017, the World Bank celebrated its 15 years of reengagement in Afghanistan. Since reengagement, we have helped the government deliver public services to its citizens and, in the process, accumulated a welth of data on many sectors from health and education to infrastructure. However, publicly available base data used across sectors – also called ‘foundation’ data – is still lacking. As it happens, that information is important to design projects and inform policies.

Case in point: while we may have data on vaccines given or babies born, we don’t know much about the roads that lead to the clinic. Similarly, we may get data on school attendance and passing rates of students, but we don’t know how long it takes for students to reach their schools. These examples highlight how foundation data can help better plan the expansion of healthcare facilities or enhance access to education. —