The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) has announced the launch of data observatories to collect and disseminate crucial, timely information that will advance the development of infrastructure projects in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
The observatories will provide open-source access to reliable, consistent and up-to-date data in the water and sanitation, energy, and transportation sectors. The observatories will operate through web platforms.
Currently, the lack of readily available data in LAC hinders sector planning and the development of effective public policies. This, in turn, hinders private sector investment.
The purpose of the observatories is to collect, collate, and curate available data in an effort to expand knowledge base and to develop the best infrastructure policies based on timely regional information that can be used in the development of clean technologies.
The Latin American and the Caribbean Water and Sanitation Observatory (OLAS) will contain reliable, comparable, timely and consistent information to help monitor progress on Sustainable Development Goals associated with water and sanitation.
The Energy Hub will gather data to boost research and share experiences. It will also promote energy policy innovation, intersectoral collaboration and creative research to assist governments in addressing energy challenges.
The Observatory of Human Mobility will process information from 29 cities in the region. It will promote the adoption of data analytics to help urban planning and policies on mobility. It will base its activities on four pillars: universal access; efficiency and quality; safety; and clean mobility.
All players and researchers in the sector will be able to use the data to help design effective public policies and promote sector development. International organizations including UNICEF and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), among others, have joined this initiative to support countries that are part of the Latin American Water and Sanitation Conference (Latinosan).
Preliminary information culled from all three observatories has been incorporated in a new IADB publication that provides an in-depth diagnostic of access, quality, and affordability of infrastructure services in the region as well as examples of regulatory policies that have achieved tangible progress in service provision.
DIA 2020 , “From Structures to Services: The Path to Better Infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean” focuses on providing basic infrastructure services and assessing the evolution and current situation of services in terms of access, quality and affordability. In addition, it provides policy options to help countries improve those services.
These new observatories will continue to collect the data and the IADB will maintain the databases to assist governments and the private sector in key infrastructure decision-making.