Research and analysis on citizen-generated data, and its role in promoting accountability and monitoring the SDGs.
DATATALKS GUIDE: HOW TO TALK ABOUT DIGITAL SECURITY?
The Data Talks guide helps organisations reflect and make informed decisions about how to protect data against loss or attacks. The guides use real-life examples to put risks in context. The conversations take into consideration the context and needs of each organization and supports organisations to make the best decisions on practices with their data. In addition, the guide helps connect you to additional resources and experts if needed.
CITIZEN-GENERATED DATA (CGD) FOR SDG16: INCLUSIVE & RESPONSIVE DECISION-MAKING
The SDGs have seventeen goals covering people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership, so most organisations are already working towards accomplishing the SDGs and have interest in helping monitoring SDG progress. Despite the aligned interests, most organisational data cannot be used for SDG monitoring because its methodology or scope differs from the official indicator methodology. For example, many of the SDG indicators ask for proportion of the national population, which is typically larger geographic area than most organisations operate. Even with these difficulties, civil society can contribute to the SDG dialogue and help hold decision-makers accountable to their commitment towards the goals. One example of this is the 2018 SPEAK! Campaign, which brought together 36 organisations in 22 countries to collect 581 responses to indicator SDG 16.7.2 regarding responsive, inclusive, participatory, and representative decision-making at all levels.
- Published April 2019
- Download the report (PDF)
DATASHIFT DATA FOR ACTION TOOLKIT: WORKING WITH SURVEY DATA IN EXCEL
This toolkit is part of a larger effort by DataShift to strengthen organisational capacity to work with data in an actionable way through the Data for Action programme. It was developed to serve as a guide for organisations in thinking critically about survey data using spreadsheets. This toolkit was made possible with funding by the European Commission.
This resource has been developed for small- to medium- sized civil society organisations working with survey data. The instructions contained in this manual are designed specifically for data entry by a single user using one computer at a time. This is not intended to be applicable for large-scale data collection utilising multiple data entry personnel on multiple devices.
- Published July 2018
- Download the report (DOCX)
IMPROVING QUALITY OF CITIZEN GENERATED DATA FOR OFFI¬CIAL USE IN LINE WITH TANZANIA STATISTICS ACT 2015: A PRACTICAL GUIDELINE TANZANIAN CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS
The Tanzania Parliament enacted Statistics Bill 2013 and among other things regulates how official statistics and data are collected and how they are used by government institutions, civil societies, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders. The act also imposes restrictions and penalties for
non-compliance. This guideline provides practical steps, so citizen generated data be recognised and endorsement by the government and its institutions.
- Published April 2018
- Download the report (PDF)
AWARENESS OF TANZANIA STATISTICS ACT 2015 AMONG TANZANIAN CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS
The enacted Statistics Act 2015 in Tanzania has become a subject of ongoing discussions by government and civil society. The Tanzanian government argues that this act is needed to facilitate and regulate
production, access and sharing of official statistics. Whereas some commentators in civil society argue the act is infringing on people’s democratic rights of collecting and sharing data. With this in mind, this report focuses on how civil society understands on the provisions of the Tanzanian Statistics Act 2015 and for CSOs to comply with the law and enhance the quality of their data and Statistics so that it can be considered for official policy and decision-making processes.
- Published March 2018
- Download the report (PDF)
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR SCALING SLUM DWELLERS LAND RIGHTS IN NAGPUR, INDIA USING CGD
Centre for Sustainable Development has been working for fifteen years with local government to advocate and obtain land rights for slum dwellers in Nagpur, India. A key component of their work involves CGD, particularly community engagement, mapping and collecting the documents that establish the legitimacy of the slum dwellers claims. Despite their success, all parties were interested whether costs and processing times decreased by transforming thie mainly physical CGD process to a digital one. The findings suggest yes that technology could decrease costs and processing time, but it could only do so with greater local government and civil society collaboration.
- Published February 2018
- Download the report (PDF)
STATISTICAL PERSPECTIVES ON CITIZEN-GENERATED DATA
DataShift seeks to foster and inform dialogue between civil society and governments about the practical ways citizen-generated data (CGD) can contribute to action on sustainable development, including the implementation and ‘follow-up and review’ of the global Sustainable Development Goals. This report delves into the opportunities and challenges involved in using CGD to support government-led efforts to catalyse and monitor progress on sustainable development.
A series of interviews were conducted to investigate how public data producers and users (such as National Statistics Offices and policymakers) perceive CGD. Participants included statisticians, public officials, and other relevant stakeholders working at the local, state, national, and global levels. While focusing on DataShift’s pilot locations (Argentina, Kenya, Nepal, and Tanzania), our study also brought in contributions of experts from international organisations – such as Open Data Watch, Paris21, and the UK Department for International Development.
ACTING LOCALLY, MONITORING GLOBALLY
Citizen-generated data (CGD) is data actively created by citizens and their organisations. It is produced to monitor, demand or drive change around issues that are important to them, often collected on the ground and in local contexts. As such, CGD yields the potential to foreground the issues of disadvantaged communities in under-reported locations. Yet, if the SDGs aim to leave no one behind, and if CGD can provide contextual information about marginalised groups, the question is whether and how CGD can be used for the SDGs. In this report, Acting locally, Monitoring globally in our research series, we aim to address to what extent are the SDGs relevant for CGD initiatives.
FROM EVIDENCE TO ACTION
From “From Evidence to Action“, the second piece in our Research series demonstrates how citizen-generated data (CGD) can support decision-making and trigger action. CGD is a representation of the issues that are most important to citizens. If evidence provided by CGD shall trigger action, the issue and its stakeholders need to be well understood. Stakeholders have certain capacities to engage with an issue, and are prepared differently to act upon it. Some actors may lack the literacy, knowledge, time, or interest to engage with complicated data. The task is for CGD projects to understand these nuances, and to translate their data into digestible, easily understandable, and relevant messages. The qualities of CGD need to match with the action that is planned.
MAKING CITIZEN-GENERATED DATA WORK
We are excited to announce a new DataShift research series investigating how citizen-generated data can be used to monitor progress around the SDGs, written by Danny Lämmerhirt, Shazade Jameson and Eko Prasetyo from the Open Knowledge International. The first piece “Making citizen-generated data work”, elaborates on the different ways development actors mobilise partners and resources to produce citizen-generated data.
Citizen-generated data (CGD) needs partnerships to thrive. Even though produced by citizens, their data production is often supported by civil organisations, governments, business partners, or community-based organisations. These actors unites their often necessary role in providing resources, support, and knowledge to citizens to produce data. In return they can harness data created by citizens to support their own mission. Thus, citizens and other actors often gain mutual benefit from a CGD project. But if CGD projects rely on partnerships, who has to be engaged, and through which incentives, to enable CGD projects to achieve their goals? How are such multi-stakeholder projects organised, and which resources and expertise do partners bring into a project? What can other projects learn to support and benefit their own citizen-generated data initiatives? This report calls for stronger collaborations to tap into CGD.
CHANGING WHAT COUNTS
This report looks at how citizen-generated data can influence the way in which governments and institutions carry out data collection. It includes examples of where citizen-generated data has directly influenced policy changes, provided concrete paths of collaboration between civil society and public institutions, and raised awareness of important, under-reported social issues. Many of the recommendations for the two key audiences speak directly to core aims of DataShift’s ongoing work: encouraging institutions to look at sustainability models to support civil society groups who are generating their own data, and using that data as a potential means of collaboration.
CITIZEN-GENERATED DATA AND GOVERNMENTS: TOWARDS A COLLABORATIVE MODEL
This piece explores the idea that governments could host and publish citizen-generated data themselves, and whether this could mean that data is applied more widely and in a more sustainable way. We wrote this report to explore this issue further, looking at existing models of data collaboration and outlining our first thoughts on the benefits and obstacles this kind of model might face. We welcome feedback from those with deeper expertise into different aspects of citizen-generated data, and look forward to refining these thoughts in the future together with the broader community.
EXPLORING THE USE AND IMPACT OF CITIZEN-GENERATED DATA INITIATIVES
Three research teams based in the DataShift’s pilot locations – Argentina, East Africa (Tanzania and Kenya) and Nepal – are looking deeper into the impact of citizen-generated data initiatives in their own countries. Each team will be conducting in-depth research into the impact of five ongoing or completed citizen-generated data initiatives that address issues relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals. They’re examining how initiatives’ data has been used by others; how projects check the quality of their data, whether the initiative is likely to last in the long term; and how the data is received at the local level.
- Published April 2016
- Download the report on East Africa (PDF)
- Download the report on Nepal (PDF)
- Download the report on Argentina (PDF)
The research teams are:
- Argentina: Centro de investigaciones para la transformación (CENIT), which conducts research in a number of areas related to the economy of innovation and sustainable development, including studies on grassroots innovation, open science and natural resources and innovation
- Kenya and Tanzania: Elizabeth Maina, Linda Oduor-Noah and Crystal Simeoni, who bring together a range of research experience covering areas including governance, social innovation and culture
- Nepal: Local Interventions Group, which has founded and managed a range of citizen-generated data initiatives in Nepal, often in close collaboration with the government.