Government and Civil Society

Type of Investment


Project Stage


Length of Investment


Investment Overview

IDinsight uses data and evidence to help leaders improve lives worldwide. Nano Management Information System (Nano MIS) is a data collection process and decision support system for frontline officials to improve the quality of policies and services.


The Development Challenge

Despite acutely weak state capacity and the undoubted value of data in improving service delivery, frontline officials rarely use data as decision support to directly improve the quality of execution. Cheap, accurate, timely, and relevant data is scarce. Instead, information systems are designed top down to help higher level officials monitor execution in the aggregate, which neither captures known success predictors of development problems, nor issues of direct concern to ordinary citizens.


The Innovation

Nano MIS is a decision support system for frontline officials to improve the quality of policy execution. It is a ‘process innovation’ that changes the approach to building information systems by using a fast, cheap, and flexible design, concentrating on a limited number of priority outcomes, on issues immediately and directly relevant to citizens, and which emerge in a bottom up manner reflecting the needs of frontline staff. The vision is that this approach can produce cheaper, faster, and more user friendly information systems for use by frontline officials in low capacity settings to help improve last mile implementation of priority policies, especially those which directly impact the daily lives of citizens.


Our Investment

GIF provided a $230,00 pilot grant to support IDinsight to create a functioning MIS system and process for one chiefdom in Zambia. The pilot aimed to provide evidence and documentation on data collection, data analysis, and data visualisation parameters that can be successful in the chiefdom setting, consultation requirements and processes with different stakeholders, the range of use cases relevant for a chiefdom setting, as well as time and cost estimations and projections for a scaled up NANO scenario.


Progress to date

The pilot achieved the core objective – to develop and demonstrate Nano MIS in one chiefdom, the Mukobela Chiefdom in the Namwala district Southern Province. The system included information on a number of indicators on access to public services agreed in a consultative process with Chief Mukobela, including on proportion of households that drink treated water, distance to health and education facilities, child marriage, incidence of diarrheal diseases in children under five years of age, and other indicators. Chief Mukobela reported that the data showed challenges that he and his team were not aware of, and the evidence helped the Chief take action and secure additional support for the chiefdom, for example mobilising the community to make a contribution for the construction of a clinic in an underserved area.


Nano MIS in numbers


GIF grant provided for the creation of a functioning Nano IS system


Nano MIS Completion Report

Click here to read Nano MIS's Completion Report.