Reflections on the Launch of the CanWaCH Project Explorer

It has been just over two weeks since CanWaCH officially launched our redesigned website, and with it, our new Project Explorer Data Portal!

It was particularly inspiring to launch the Portal at our November 1stAnnual General Meeting in Ottawa, where I spoke with our Members across Canada about how our sector urgently needs a place to share the wealth of information and resources that too often remain within our respective agencies.

Project Explorer Map
CanWaCH Project Explorer Map

The CanWaCH Portal will help Canadian development and humanitarian actors easily share and access information. Our Members can login to our Member Portal and enter detailed information on their global health projects. Their projects will then be shown on our Project Explorer page and will be featured in an interactive mapping feature.  

For the first time, our Project Explorer will also capture details on gender-transformative approaches, detailed disaggregated data and Canadian efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We hope that this Portal will serve as an access point for sharing tools as well as critical data, which can help us all make thoughtful, expanded investments and programming decisions in the days, months and years ahead. For further information on this exciting new tool, you can consult our User Guide with detailed notes on the Portal.

Having spent my career working global sexual and reproductive health and rights, I am excited by the chance to showcase the breadth of innovative health programming that is happening around the world. At the same time, my mind already goes to ‘what’s next?’ What should the next phase of this Portal look like? What else do we need to know to capture full scope of Canadian global impact? How can we make this tool even more responsive, and the quality of data even more robust?

As a next step, we are encouraging our Members to log into their unique profile pages and update their project data (let me know if you have any challenges). For those Members who have already entered data into the Portal, I am eager for your feedback on your experience. We have hosted many one-on-one online Portal orientations with dozens of Members and have found their feedback to be extremely helpful, and we encourage more Members to continue to give us their feedback.  At the same time, I also want to hear from anyone with an interest and passion for data, who wants to work through these questions with me. Please email me at jferne@canwach.ca or complete our short, anonymous survey with your feedback or insights.

The launch of this Portal is an exciting opportunity for our ability to showcase Canada’s collective impact in global women, children, and youth health. The more I use it, the more inspired I am by the possibilities to collect better evidence and make better decisions, to ultimately save more lives, together.

Jessica Ferne is Manager, Global Health Impact at CanWaCH.