CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international alliance of members and partners which constitutes an influential network of organizations at the local, national, regional, and international levels, and spans the spectrum of civil society. CIVICUS includes the following in its definition of civil society: civil society networks and organizations; trade unions; faith-based networks; professional associations; NGO capacity development organizations; philanthropic foundations and other funding bodies.
CIVICUS has worked for nearly two decades to strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens' freedom of association are threatened. CIVICUS has a vision of a global community of active, engaged citizens committed to the creation of a more just and equitable world. This is based on the belief that the health of societies exists in direct proportion to the degree of balance between the state, the private sector and civil society.
CIVICUS provides a focal point for knowledge-sharing, common interest representation, global institution-building, and engagement among these disparate sectors. It acts as an advocate for citizen participation as an essential component of governance and democracy worldwide. CIVICUS seeks to amplify the voices and opinions of ordinary people and it gives expression to the enormous creative energy of the burgeoning sector of civil society.
Priorities as a partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
CIVICUS commits to building the capacity of civil society, particularly in the Global South, to produce and use data to contribute to, promote, and monitor sustainable development progress through its DataShift initiative. Building this capacity is a key component to securing a Data Revolution; it is critical to ensuring that citizens and their organizations have the evidence they need to more effectively plan and implement their own programs and partnerships, hold decision makers to account for their commitments, and to engage in data-driven advocacy to promote sustainable development progress. This area is currently underprioritized, under-resourced and is where CIVICUS can best add value.
CIVICUS commits to convening a broad, diverse, and global set of civil society actors to coordinate approaches to using civil society data, including operational and programming data and citizen-generated data, to more effectively monitor progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Civil society data should be leveraged in a coordinated way to monitor the SDGs because it can complement official sources of data used to assess sustainable development progress. It can fill gaps where official data do not exist, verify official sources of data where data is questionable and amplify citizen voices. It can especially amplify the voices of those typically marginalized and hard to reach, and enable the direct, active and invested participation of people in the sustainable development of their communities, countries, and world.
CIVICUS commits to leading, in partnership with government, private sector, and innovation partners, an effort to concretely identify how multiple sources of data (official data, citizen-generated data, civil society data, big data, private sector data) can be used to monitor and inform SDG progress at the country and global levels. This matters because concrete demonstrations of how this can be achieved have not yet been carried out; to demonstrate the value of leveraging multiple sources of data to understand and drive sustainable development, one of the key opportunities of the data revolution, this concrete demonstration is an important step.