In this Briefing on Country Level Monitoring of SDGs we share experiences from DataShift’s deep-dive on SDG 5 (achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls) in Kenya and Tanzania. Our work in the region shows that the manifestation of gender equality within the community is directly linked to government service delivery and women’s access to economic opportunities, which is essential for meeting the needs of women and girls.
By Zara Rahman
One year ago, we began work on the research and learning aspect of DataShift. We decided to call the space for this work the Learning Zone, and we used it as a way to learn more about how citizen-generated data is being used, worldwide.
Since then, we’ve carried out and commissioned a number of research and learning outputs through the Learning Zone. We were lucky enough to work with people pushing the boundaries of citizen-generated data in their respective fields, carry out research of our own, and partner with research teams in other countries to see what we could learn, together.
By Jack Cornforth
This year CIVICUS, through its DataShift initiative, has been seeking to incubate a conversation on how we in civil society can collaborate to use our data to monitor the new global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To start with, this involved some initial research into the different types of data civil society is generating and how it is being used, along with speaking to a range of civil society actors to hear their thoughts on how we could coordinate these efforts. Given that there was a great deal of appetite to continue these initial conversations and build on what we had learned, DataShift held an open event – ‘Monitoring for the People by the People’ – in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York this September to bring people together to try and refine some of these early proposals and think practically about translating them into action.
This briefing note helps to clarify what we mean when we talk about citizen-generated data, as something which people or their organisations produce to directly monitor, demand or drive change on issues that affect them. It explains why citizen-generated data is important, including how it can complement (rather than replace) institutional data. It then outlines what the DataShift is doing to promote the creation and use of citizen-generated data, through both in-country projects and an online Learning Zone.
Following a comprehensive Scoping Study and to inform the design of the DataShift implementation phase, CIVICUS has been working with partners and consulting with civil society and a range experts to ensure the DataShift is a bottom-up, demand-driven initiative that responds to the needs of citizens and their organisations.
This document is a synthesis of that work, summarising key lessons from these consultations, before proceeding to outline our ambitious priorities for the initiative for the coming months.