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Data-Driven Decision Making for Efficient Afghanistan

By Abdul Haseeb Rahimi

The World of Data and Technology can help us make more informed decisions based on a deeper understanding of the problems we are facing. The era of the end of the theory is here, and anything that is not backed by data or data analysis has no real world value. 

Software like MySQL and Python is transforming the way we look at the world as we speak. Data analytics can be used to measure, predict, optimize, give insight on
government performance, economic measures, banking, health, agriculture, effective long- and short-term investments, political stability, defense, every sector of the government, and public well-being.

For far too long, we have been listening to emotional speeches or nice sounding speeches in both Farsi and Pushto by government officials and people in decision making. We have applauded the politicians for their ability to deliver the eloquent  speeches but we have not bothered to take a look at the data and hold them accountable. Those days should be over.

Data science with well proven algorithms could be the answer. By identifying corruption or fraud we can use machine learning to detect and prevent future fraudulence.
There is more than enough evidence out there to say that data driven organisations have competitive advantage over other organisations that are not data driven. 
With the current technology, project management, domain knowledge and access to data with as little as 2-3 years of labeling the data, we could start measuring performance of every sector of the government and public well being.

Data is powerful. It has the ability to question and measure performance. It can be a guiding tool for the government officials to encourage them to put the right effort, right investments, and the right teams to deliver the job.

It can automatically detect fraud and could save a lot of time, effort,
and resources. For an efficient Afghanistan, it is about time for machines
and officials to work together to bring a real and measurable change.

The writer is Ex-Advisor to Ministry of Finance

Co-Founder at the Economics Club of Kabul

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