The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s report, “Work on the review of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)” recognises the usefulness of citizen-generated data (CGD) and the UN’s interest in exploring new avenues to make better use of such data in SDG processes and beyond. The report also underlines the key role of civil society actors and community-based organisations in advancing CGD to make SDG processes and public policies more inclusive and equitable. The close collaboration between the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and the International Civil Society Centre (in its role as the global LNOB secretariat) has been explicitly mentioned in the report, emphasising our mutual role in fostering collaboration between civil society and national statistics offices at the national level.
The report recognises CGD, such as community-driven data and citizen science, as useful data sources, both for filling gaps to inform policy and decision-making and as complementary information by citizens, civil society and community-based organisations in order to better reflect the realities of less visible and marginalised groups more broadly.
The report also highlights that national statistical offices are increasingly exploring mechanisms and tools to engage and connect with citizens and communities throughout the data value chain to make data more relevant and better utilised.
The Secretary General’s report refers to the expert group meeting on the topic “Harnessing data by citizens for public policy and Sustainable Development Goal monitoring: a conceptual framework”, which was held in Bangkok on 10th and 11th November 2022 to discuss concrete ways to involve civil society in all steps of the SDG process. At the meeting, it was concluded that there would be a new UN-anchored collaborative co-led by UNSD and a network of partners, bringing together diverse stakeholders, including national statistical offices, CSOs, academia and regional and international organisations. The goal is to share knowledge and experiences in leveraging citizens’ contribution to data and to inform further normative work required in this area.
For additional information, download the full report.