A new report on citizen-generated data (CGD) can help to increase and improve the use of data produced by civil society actors to fill data gaps in official reporting and help to fill data gaps for reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The case study from Kenya shows how partnerships between civil society and national statistical offices (NSOs), along with a robust statistical quality framework, has resulted in the development of a national methodology to validate CGD quality so that it can be used in official reporting and policy setting.

The report: “Citizen-Generated Data for Sustainable Development Goals Reporting in Kenya" by PARIS21, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and Partners for Review presents KNBS’s experience of operationalising the use of citizen-generated data to fill gaps in official reporting. With increased demand for statistics at the county, national and international levels, KNBS needed new sources of information. Two Voluntary National Reviews of SDGs and the Kenya National Strategy for the Development of Statistics 2019/20 – 2022/23 highlight the country’s interest in using alternative data sources to report on SDGs. The KNBS approach to CGD is based on special validation criteria, which are part of the Statistical Quality Assurance Framework (KeSQAF) published in 2022.

The use of these data sources to fill gaps in official statistics is an important change in the traditional operating model of NSOs. The inclusion of quality approaches towards non-official data is a major milestone for the KNBS. Specifically, PARIS21’s support helped KNBS to develop a national methodology to validate the quality CGD as fit for purpose. In addition, a participatory model of policy-setting was applied: the KNBS held workshops and consultations with a number of civil society actors in Kenya to discuss the validation criteria and build an inventory of potential CGD producers.

The case study reflects on the potential of CGD in Kenya by focusing on:

  • Opportunities for NSOs to explore the use of alternative data sources
  • An enabling legal and policy environment for a closer data collaboration with non-state actors
  • The role of NSO’s leadership and co-ordination
  • Establishing trustful relationships with CSOs

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