The idea for the emerged in June 2010, when Jeremy Webb, the Founder of the Challenge Institute, arrived in Addis Ababa to live.  Because the needs surrounding him seemed incomprehensible, he decided to find a way of prioritising human and development needs across sectors and within countries using data.  In June 2013, Jeremy returned to the idea and started work on the classification of needs, identified 20 overarching human and development needs, and then found indicators for 15 of these sectors.  Together with Daniel Alemu (website design), Bruk Tekie (social media), and Milkias Girma Chaka (review), the was developed.

The Beta version was launched 30 October 2014.  The aim of the launch was to get feedback on the concept (i.e. ranking needs), the site and its contents.  Since then, Jeremy has collected feedback based on discussions with people involved in data and development.  In addition to this, news and information related to data and development has been continuously posted on the Facebook page.

From February 2016, Good Guide is a project under the Challenge Institute.

Strategic data innovations for the 21st century