"The goal of citizen-generated data is to monitor, advocate for, or drive change around an issue important to citizens."
In late December last year, the Open Knowledge International (OKI) released a report on ‘Making Citizen-Generated Data Work’. OKI is a worldwide non-profit network promoting ‘openness, using advocacy, technology and training to unlock information and enable people to work with it to create and share knowledge’. OKI provides formal and informal guidance in this area to numerous governments around the world.
The report starts off by highlighting that monitoring progress on the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be borne only by national governments and National Statistics Offices. It is a matter of funding, availability of resources and conscious or unconscious bias. Citizen-generated data (CGD) can play a crucial role here. The report states that projects reliant on CGD depend on support from civil society organisations, community-based organisations, governments and businesses and collaboration between all these stakeholders.
A 2×2 matrix is presented for classifying CGD projects.
The governance axis is based on whether the context is characterised by strong or weak governance, which is determined based on issues such as the availability of information to make decisions, the strength of laws, the level of government responsiveness, the level of trust, and the level of informality around the particular topic. This is dependent on the specifics of the project, so that there can be a weak governance context within a strong state and vice versa.
The linkage to government is based on whether the project is directly or indirectly to the government. It is influenced by whether a project aims to be complementary to government monitoring strategies, contribute to government processes and monitor performance of government, or whether the issue is being dealt with by outside of government players.
The report goes on to propose incentives which can be effective across different categories of projects in the context of the following.
Read the complete report from OKF, based on 14 case studies from around the world here: Making Citizen-Generated Data Work
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