Citizen-generated data (CGD) is a problem-focused type of data that can take many forms. It is often framed around people collaborating to collect data they need to understand and tackle a problem that affects them. CGD can include monitoring the performance of governments, tracking environmental issues, or collecting spatial data.

CGD is key to achieving the SDGs in several ways:

First, relating to SDG targets 16.7, 6.b and 17.17, it can create new spaces for citizens and government to engage and include citizens in public decision-making. It can also help ensure responsive and inclusive decision-making at different levels of government.

Second, it provides alternative data that can complement and enhance official data supporting policies, programs, and projects to achieve the SDGs, and efforts to monitor progress. CGD is often available faster and at lower costs than alternative data sources. It is also typically more disaggregated and has more data points. While it may not always be based on a representative sample, it can be invaluable to identify patterns and guide official policymaking and monitoring systems.

The Task Team on CGD has three focus areas:

  • To produce recommendations on what types of CGD initiatives are best suited to different purposes, actors, and needs, and what this means for their potential to scale and be combined with other data sources for implementation and monitoring the SDGs
  • To produce guidance aimed primarily at official stakeholders at all levels of government and international organizations, on how to navigate and engage with different types of CGD initiatives
  • To provide a forum to share experiences, challenges, and learning related to CGD

As a first step towards these objectives, we will soon be publishing a report and an accompanying guide that provide an overview of CGD methods, highlighting the different ways of generating CGD, and how each method relates to implementation, monitoring, and achievement of the SDGs. The report and guide will tackle several questions: What CGD methodologies work well for what purposes? What is the role of citizens in generating data, and what can data ‘generation’ look like? How are participation and use of citizen data organized?

How to get involved

Contact the task team's co-chairs, Rob Worthington (Kwantu) and Rebecca Firth (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team), to get involved. The task team holds monthly calls to share experiences and discuss our work.

Task Team Members

Africa Philanthropic Foundation

Government of Canada: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

C-Change

CIVICUS

Committee for a Better New Orleans

Commonwealth Foundation

Data2X

GeoCensos

Global Integrity

GroundTruth Initiative

HelpAge International

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT)

International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

Kathmandu Living Labs

Kwantu

Open Knowledge International

OpenUp

Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21)

Planet

Pollicy

Project 8

Restless Development

Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Youth

Tanzania Development Trust

TECHO

The Gambia YMCAs Computer Training Centre and Digital Studio

Twaweza East Africa

UN Women: The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID)

United Kingdom Office for National Statistics (ONS)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Nations Global Pulse

US Department of State

Ushahidi

Video Volunteers

Wikimedia

Wingu

  

Contributing Partners

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre IDMC 20 Years 1998-2018 Logo
Non-governmental Organization
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is the leading source of information and analysis on internal displacement. By telling the story of internal displacement, we keep the issue and the plight of internally displaced people high on the global agenda.
CARTO Logo
Private sector
CARTO is an open cloud location data platform offering visual insights on where things happen, why they happen, and predicting what will happen in the future.
C-Change
Private sector
C-Change triggers business to make a difference and equip them to bring their purpose to life. We convene. We consult. And, most importantly, we are launching a technology platform that enables corporates globally to capture, share, and accelerate their impact through an innovative, easy to use, in-house portal.
CIVICUS Logo
Non-governmental Organization
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.
Data2X - Partnering for a Gender Data Revolution
Non-governmental Organization
Data2X is a collaborative technical and advocacy platform dedicated to improving the quality, availability and use of gender data in order to make a practical difference in the lives of girls and women worldwide.
Global Integrity - Data, Learning and Action for Open Governance
Non-governmental Organization
We support progress toward open and accountable governance in countries and communities around the world. We do so by generating data, supporting the work of country-level reformers, and by influencing global conversations on open governance.
HelpAge International Logo
Non-governmental Organization
HelpAge International is a global network of organizations promoting the rights of all older people to lead dignified, healthy and secure lives.
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Logo
Non-governmental Organization
Free, up-to-date maps are a critical resource when relief organizations are responding to disasters or political crises. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) creates and provides those maps.
International Center for Research on Women Logo
Non-governmental Organization
For more than 40 years, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) has been building the evidence base to demonstrate that when women and girls have opportunities to improve their lives, everyone benefits.
Kathmandu Living Labs KLL Logo
Non-governmental Organization
Kathmandu Living Labs is one of the leading civic-tech organizations in Nepal that develops web and mobile technology to connect data, technology, and people in Nepal, and conducts research to bridge the science-to-society gap, working mainly in open maps, disaster management, governance, and civic engagement.
Kwantu
Private sector
Kwantu is a social enterprise that aims to make development more effective.  We specialise in the development of management information systems for development programmes.
PARIS21 - Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century
Multilateral Organization
PARIS21 promotes the better use and production of statistics throughout the developing world.
SDSN Youth
Non-governmental Organization
SDSN Youth is the global youth division of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). It is a new initiative to amplify the tremendous energy and capabilities of youth in generating broader buy-in for the SDGs by mobilizing resources and building capacity to empower action.
TECHO Logo
Non-governmental Organization
TECHO is a youth-led non-profit organization present in Latin America & the Caribbean. Through the joint work of families living in extreme poverty and youth volunteers, TECHO seeks to overcome poverty in slums.
YMCA The Gambia Logo
Non-governmental Organization
The mandate of the YMCA is to empower young people and communities to be proactive and productive agents in their own development.
UK Aid from the British people
Government
The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty, building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for all of us which is firmly in the UK’s national interest.
UNDP - United Nations Development Programme Logo
Multilateral Organization
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion.
Global Pulse
Multilateral Organization
Global Pulse is the United Nations Secretary-General's flagship innovation initiative on big data.
Video Volunteers Logo
Non-governmental Organization
Video Volunteers empowers marginalized people to tell their stories and create change campaigns so that their issues come out from under the rug and become important threads in India’s development narrative.
WINGU - Tecnología Sin Fines de Lucro
Non-governmental Organization
We love developing projects in partnership with other civil society organizations, that combine technology, open data, and agile methodologies which foster social impact.
Project 8 Logo
Private sector
Project 8 has prototyped a cloud-based, open data collaboration platform focused on sustainable development data and human needs perspectives, in particular. It is a professional social network built around data.
Twaweza ni sisi Logo
Non-governmental Organization
Twaweza works on enabling children to learn, citizens to exercise agency and governments to be more open and responsive in East Africa.
Africa Philanthropic Foundation Logo
Non-governmental Organization
Africa Philanthropic Foundation is a Pan-African civil society organization seeking to re-defining the culture of giving in Africa in relation to sustainable development.
Tanzania Development Trust Logo
Non-governmental Organization
We have been supporting grassroots projects in Tanzania and crowdmapping rural Tanzania in OpenStreetMap.
UN Women Logo
Multilateral Organization
UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Restless Development Logo
Non-governmental Organization
Young people have powerful voices. We are here to make sure their voices are heard.
Open Knowledge International Logo
Non-governmental Organization
Open Knowledge International focuses on realising open data’s value to society by helping civil society groups access and use data to take action on social problems.
GeoCensos - Mapeamos Juntos un Mundo Mejor
Non-governmental Organization
GeoCensos Foundation is an officially registered NGO working in the Latin America and the Caribbean region that promotes innovative projects in geospatial disciplines.
     

Resources on Citizen-Generated Data Task Team

More Resources
Data4SDGs Toolbox

Making Use of Citizen-Generated Data

This Data4SDGs Toolbox module explores how citizen-generated data — data individuals or their organizations produce to directly monitor, demand or drive change on issues that affect them — can be leveraged to support the effective tracking of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This Initiative Works to Achieve These SDGs