Advancing Sustainability Together? Citizen-Generated Data and the Sustainable Development Goals
77 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2019
Date Written: December 18, 2018
Citizen-generated data (CGD) expands what gets measured, how, and for what purpose. Initiatives cover areas from cartography to government policies, public services or environmental research. As the collection and engagement with CGD rises in relevance and visibility, public institutions can learn from existing initiatives about what CGD initiatives do, how they enable different forms of sense-making and how this may further progress around the Sustainable Development Goals.
This report examines different approaches to doing and organising CGD, as well as how governments already engage with these types of initiatives. It identifies three ways how citizen-generated data may relate to the SDGs, underlining the importance for public institutions to further support these initiatives. These include:
1) CGD initiatives create new kinds of relationships, participation and public spaces between public institutions, civil society groups and citizens,
2) Beyond closing data gaps, CGD initiatives also provide alternative ways of measuring and help informing, expanding, and improving existing monitoring efforts,
3) CGD initiatives can inform public policy, behavioral change and other actions towards implementing and achieving the SDGs.
Keywords: Citizen-generated data, civil society, data activism, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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