ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Challenges and Opportunities

The Paradox of Data-based Governance

If governance decisions are to be data centric, there is a need to ensure a system of decentralised robust and reliable database. Data-based governance requires not just validated and scientific data but also requires the policymakers to use it wisely by contextualising it to ensure equality and equity.


The new currency driving governance today is data. Whether it is the debate on the hunger index or the arguments regarding the caste census, data is at the centre of these controversies: the manner in which it is coll­ected, interpreted, and constructed into an index are being vociferously debated by everyone, including those who have only a rudimentary understanding of data. The pandemic management that relies heavily on numbers in terms of testing, vaccinating or tracking recoveries and deaths has only heightened this fascination with data.

The reason for this obsession with data is because evidence-based policy (EBP) making or data-based governance has been touted as a rational form of governance that bases its decisions not on populist pressures but on objective data. Accor­ding to Sutcliff and Court (2005: 2),

the pursuit of EBP is based on the premise that policy decisions should be better informed by available evidence and should include rational analysis.

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Updated On : 4th Feb, 2022
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