Cepei and the Global Partnership launched the first webinar of the “Data for development in Latin America” Series, where a discussion from different approaches and perspectives on the use of citizen-generated data for the monitoring of the 2030 Agenda took place, with specific examples from Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela and Aruba.
The demand for public policies aligned with the reality of the territories has made clear the need to incorporate new data sources that reflect the needs, perspectives and citizens expectations. In recent decades, citizen-generated data (DGC) has become a tool to make visible those invisible or those ignored areas of action or problems that affect the development of communities. However, it is necessary to foster its credibility and relevance in decision making at the governmental level.
In order to present the use of the CGD for the construction of timely public policies and the follow-up of the 2030 Agenda, this webinar presented case studies in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Aruba that demonstrate the opportunities and challenges of the use and incorporation of citizen-generated data in the creation of strategies and action plans in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Rebecca Firth, Co-chair of the Citizen-generated Data Task Team of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap, commented that HOT is focusing its work on data which allows problem solving, and which require the participation of citizens for its production.
In Venezuela maps have been created based on CGD to respond to specific crises, she said. New approaches in big data (satellite images) and crowdsourcing to remotely support Venezuelans in the field have been implemented.
In Aruba, together with UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency), HOT created an estimate of the Venezuelan population in the island, seeking to identify the reasons for migration, needs and access to basic services. Working with refugees and health services, data that the government needed to provide timely responses and strengthen the health system was created.
Julio López, Sustainable Development and Cities Director of Grupo Faro (Ecuador), presented the ODS Territorio Ecuador [SDG Ecuador Territory] initiative, which seeks to present the existing information in Ecuador on Sustainable Development Goals in a friendly way. Among his reflections, he said that “Citizen observatories are an open space to publicize information regarding the SDGs.”
Likewise, citizen groups, research centers and grassroots organizations can provide information on their activity, reflecting the reality of the territories; However, this information is not always systematized, creating an obstacle. For López there is great potential in citizen-generated data (DGC) as an alternative source, especially at the local level.
Jorge Umaña, Data for Development Coordinator of the University of Costa Rica, commented from an academic point of view, on the project carried out by the Collaborative Laboratory of Public Innovation, on the most common problems and access to clean water in Costa Rica.
To develop the project´s process, Umaña explained that an specific indicator (Clean water) was chosen to determine the information needed for its measurement. Then they sought to understand its context: relationship with the National Development Plan, the status of the indicator by region, etc. Next an instrument was designed, and the data to be collected defined. Once this was done, the team proceeded with the implementation of the instrument, and the evaluation of the indicator according to the data results.
Learn more about the project on clean water in Costa Rica, by listening to the webinar recording here.