DataShift’s work to support the creation and use of citizen-generated data takes place against the backdrop of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs provide an unprecedented opportunity to adopt a new approach to the monitoring and accountability of governments – with citizens at the core. To better deliver on the promise of the SDGs, a ‘data revolution for sustainable development’ has been called for, to leverage new sources of data, increase access to data, and ultimately support its use to inform the decisions and policies that can improve outcomes for both people and planet.

Achieving this will take all parts of society working together. At the international level governments will likely report on their progress every four years. From the global SDGs, national indicators and roadmaps are now being set. But this is a huge task, particularly for middle income and developing countries. However, citizen-generated data can potentially play a vital role in complementing and filling gaps in the data collected by National Statistics Offices, as well as support separate civil society-led efforts to assess progress, and therefore help create a more holistic, comprehensive SDG monitoring system.

DataShift is working to ensure that civil society and citizen-generated data is included in Sustainable Development Goals follow-up and review processes. This includes demonstrating how citizen-generated data can support the domestication of SDG targets and indicators, the creation of data baselines, in national and local development strategies, and in shadow monitoring efforts led by civil society at both national and local levels.


Domesticating the SDGs

DataShift has partnered with the Open Institute (OI) and Chief Francis Kariuki, (the “Tweeting Chief”) to domesticate SDG 5 at the community level in Lanet Umoja, Nakuru County in Kenya. Through this project, dubbed “Global Goals for Local Impact,” DataShift is working with the community to use citizen-generated data to better understand and then demand action on their gender-related development and governance priorities. The project is moving beyond the mere collection of citizen-generated data to empower the community to undertake advocacy campaigns targeting local government decision-making and budget processes, with a view to attracting resources for related initiatives that empower women and girls. Learn more about our process and approach in Lanet Umoja.



DataShift is convening a series of national dialogues on the state of gender data in each of its pilot countries (Kenya, Argentina, Nepal and Tanzania), with a view to identifying the challenges and opportunities around using citizen-generated data as part of an integrated, multi-stakeholder approach to facilitating engagement, spurring action, and monitoring progress on SDG 5.


The DataShift team continues to provide expert advice to Government-led national data revolution roadmap processes, which has included through workshops in Colombia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Liberia, Kenya and Tanzania. Our ongoing advocacy work with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics includes campaigning for the inclusion of civil society inputs and multiple sources of data, including citizen-generated data in the revised National Statistics Act. We have developed a guide to engaging with your government on the SDGs, drawing on our experiences in Kenya and Tanzania on the use of multiple sources of data to monitor progress on SDG 5. The guide provides information about some of the main opportunities, challenges and strategies for civil society engagement with government on SDG monitoring and accountability and will be updated on an ongoing basis. DataShift is also working with the National Statistical Office of Tanzania to produce a guide to help civil society organisations ensure levels of data quality and complementarity that enable its use in official monitoring and reporting efforts.


DataShift’s research and learning from the local and national levels informs advocacy to support the inclusion of citizen-generated data into the UN-led SDG follow-up and review process.

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