Development Pathways is pleased to share the paper, ‘Single registries and integrated MISs: De-mystifying data and information management concepts’. The paper was authored by Richard Chirchir, of Development Pathways, and Valentina Barca, of OPM, as part of the wider research commissioned by Australia’s Department of Foreign Aid and Trade on Single Registries and Unified Databases.
There is no generally accepted terminology to describe the data and information management in the context of social protection. Broadly speaking social protection MISs are systems that enable the flow and management of information within social protection programmes. However, key terms such as MIS, database and registry are often used interchangeably. Yet, in some contexts, these terms in reality form the building blocks for complex and interlinked systems.
By exploring the critical drivers and trade offs for integration of data and information in context of social protection, the paper helps shed some light on the concepts and foundation for establishment of integrated management information systems. The paper uses the cases studies of Chile, Indonesia and South Africa and many other examples. These paint the story that the evolution of Social Protection programmes and the attendant functions/objectives have shaped the level of sophistication of integration within the programme, within the social protection sector and beyond. Of course, it is worth emphasising that integration could be achieved across the end to end of social protection processes – i.e. identification of vulnerable groups, verification of eligibility, transaction management (provision of cash or token) and monitoring of results – and is not limited to data and information management!