In recent months, DataShift activities has involved convening a series of national dialogues on the state of gender data in each of the DataShift 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. In order to share and build upon the diverse experiences and ideas that emerged from the national dialogues, DataShift convened a Global Gender Thematic Forum in December 2016, bringing together a small group of gender data practitioners from these countries, along with a number of other international experts, working on issues from digital literacy, to statistics, to the empowerment of women, to ‘mutually reinforcing’ global advocacy activities. The event sought to take an in-depth look at the possibilities and barriers for improving the coherence of civil society data and CGD on gender, exploring in particular issues of credibility via topics such as methodological rigour and responsible data use, with a view to identifying practical steps to overcoming such challenges. In the report, “Exploring the Global Coverage, Credibility and Complementarity of Civil Society Data and Citizen-Generated Data on Gender Issues“, we identify the challenges and opportunities around using CGD as part of an integrated, multi-stakeholder approach to spurring action and monitoring progress on SDG 5.
From July to December 2016, we worked with 18 organisations in Argentina, Kenya, Tanzania and Nepal to create and pilot training on using citizen-generated data for campaigning towards implementing and monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Different approaches to the training were used, including; developing a CGD campaign training manual (translated and adapted for the country), workshops, an intense two-day camp with experts, providing financial assistance for CGD campaigns, and structured support with an online DataShift consultant. All the approaches had their strengths and their weakness, however, success in every case was mostly attributed to the relationship between the civil society organisations (CSOs), DataShift and the training materials. Learn more about the approaches used to implement our second phase of direct support.
Over the past couple of months, we have partnered with the Open Institute (OI) and Chief Francis Kariuki, (the “Tweeting Chief”) to domesticate SDG 5 at the community level in Lanet Umoja Location, Nakuru County in Kenya. Through a project dubbed “Global Goals for Local Impact” DataShift is working with the community to use citizen-generated data to better understand their gender-related development and governance priorities. The project is moving beyond the collection of citizen-generated data to empower the community to undertake advocacy campaigns targeting local government decision-making and budget processes with a view of attracting resources to initiatives that empower women and girls. Learn more about our process and approach in the Lanet Umoja Location.
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.