Using citizen-generated data in Kenya: The power of public engagement
Citizen-generated data (CGD) is a critical complementary data source, expanding what gets measured, how, and for what purpose. It facilitates community engagement, community-based problem solving, planning, and improvements to public services. CGD initiatives create new types of relationships between individuals, civil society organizations, and public institutions.
The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data collaborated with Africa’s Voices Foundation to pilot the use of CGD in Kenya to better understand and address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Despite the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance globally, there is a dearth of comprehensive data on the drivers and impacts. In Kenya, national and subnational efforts to address AMR are guided by the AMR National Action Plan, with a focus on improving awareness of AMR and strengthening the evidence base to inform decision-making. Reflecting this, the project saw a dual data collection and information dissemination approach using interactive radio shows, mobile text messages, listening group discussions, and key informant interviews, across three counties in Kenya—Kilifi, Kiambu, and Bungoma.
We’ve spoken to people involved across this project—government officials, researchers, civil society organizers, healthcare providers, and the media—to discuss the impact of this work, and have drawn out four findings around the use of CGD:
- CGD can build public awareness of key health issues.
- CGD allows public insights to drive decisions.
- CGD provides a complimentary data source to triangulate and deepen understanding.
- CGD facilitates collaboration between sectors.
This report was written by Muthoni Mugo and Charu Vijayakumar with support from Jenna Slotin, Karen Bett, and Amy Leach.