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Everyone Counts: Using citizen-generated data to monitor progress against the SDGs
Description/achievement of initiative

Everyone Counts strives to ensure data used to monitor the SDGs includes marginalized communities’ voices. The partnership uses Information Communication Technology (ICT) to link existing citizen engagement projects to build aggregated data linked to specific SDG indicators. It is the first time a model for citizen-generated data, combining ICT and social accountability tools will have been designed and tested on the ground. The end goal is to build robust monitoring systems that can act as an alternative to government data on SDG progress. Such open-source, citizen-generated data will be a valuable accountability and advocacy tool for citizens globally.

Implementation methodologies

Everyone Counts will take a decentralized implementation approach, balancing the tensions between the need for local context and common data standards. This will allow maximum flexibility for partners joining the initiative, while ensuring that the data each partner collects is comparable.The partners will start by reviewing which common data standards can be established to connect and aggregate data from community scorecard processes. This will centre on agreeing standards for data such as:a)Types of groups (linked to categories of marginalised groups)b)Types of issues raised by groups in relation to sectors like water, education and healthc)Common service delivery standards in relation to health clinics, schools and water outletsPartners will be supported to create new (or modify existing) data collection forms that collect the data they need to monitor the community scorecard process. These forms will include the common data standards agreed. Forms created by each partner will be shared in the Form Hub - a shared directory that enables each partner to access and use data collection forms.The initiative will provide technical support to partners to integrate these forms in their existing activities to collect data. This may mean assisting with use of web or mobile apps to collect data using the shared forms. Alternatively, it may mean linking existing systems to ensure that they collect data in the format used by the shared forms.Technical support will also be provided to ensure that data collected by each partner using the shared forms is shared in a common database. This may require additional modifications to existing monitoring and evaluation systems. Once data is available in a common database the initiative will generate reports and dashboards to analyze the data. This will focus on three areas. First, supporting joint national advocacy around priorities raised by citizens. Second, facilitating learning among the partners. Third, citizen-generated data to monitor progress against specific SDG indicators.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

The partners initially participating in the initiative will be selected because they are already using community scorecards. The capacity-building and technology transfers element will focus on ensuring that the data they collect on citizen priorities is comparable with that from other partners in the initiative. Capacity-building will focus on the following areas: First, there will be a facilitated process to establish common data standards (around areas such as types of groups, types of issues and service delivery standards). The issue types will be mapped to specific SDG indicators for goals such as health, education, gender and water and sanitation. Second, there will be capacity-building to develop data collection forms that collect the data each partner needs to monitor their scorecard activities. We anticipate that different partners will utilize different data collection forms that include questions relevant to their own work. However, these forms will also include some standard questions that have been agreed by the partnership.Third, partners will receive support to use these forms to collect data. This may mean using the free web or mobile offline app provided by the partnership. This will enable a partner to select which version of the forms they wish to use. The forms will then be available to complete for each school, water point or health facility in which they work. The data will be synchronized back to a shared database. In cases where partners have an existing monitoring and evaluation system, support will be provided to ensure that this system can be used to collect and share the data.Fourth, the initiative will provide capacity support to analyze and utilize the data collected. While this will include using the citizen-generated data to monitor specific SDGs, the primary focus will be on supporting the partners to use the data for national learning and advocacy.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

This initiative will start with a pilot in up to four countries across Africa (still to be confirmed but for example through CARE Malawi, CARE Rwanda, CARE Tanzania and other strategic partners who we are currently in discussions with for this multi-stakeholder partner initiative).The partnership will work with existing citizen-engagement projects managed by the different partners and at this stage it will be governed by a steering committee comprising representatives from all partners. This group will meet bi-annually to review progress against milestones and agree on strategic priorities for the next six months.Each of the partners involved in this multi-stakeholder partnership (including those we are currently in discussions with), have global reach and depth of experience in using community scorecards - an established and well evaluated participatory monitoring methodology. Developed by CARE Malawi in 2002, the community scorecard process engages citizen groups to identify, prioritize and solve issues that affect the quality of local health, education and water-related services. While it is effective as a process to engage citizens in improving the quality of service delivery, it also generates valuable data on the priorities and perceptions of citizens in relation to the quality of education, health, water, sanitation and other types of services.In CARE’s current 2016 portfolio, CARE Malawi alone is currently implementing 161 community scorecards with schools, health centres and traditional authorities across the country. Since this methodology is widely used by CARE International, Plan, World Vision and numerous smaller NGOs in a wide range of countries, there are multiple synergies to be harnessed between these organizations in order to engage citizens in improving the quality of service delivery, in addition to generating valuable data on the priorities and perceptions of citizens.A core team will be responsible for implementing activities agreed by the steering committee. This will include facilitating agreement of common standards for data aggregation and technical support for partners wishing to contribute data to the initiative.If the pilot is successful we will explore how it can be expanded to include other countries where community scorecards are being implemented. At this point we will review the governance structure, considering how to adapt it to include a larger group of partners.


CARE International, Kwantu, selected CARE national country offices and partners across Africa, to be confirmed (for example CARE Malawi, CARE Rwanda, CARE Zambia and CARE Tanzania and other global and country-level partners- to be confirmed.
Progress reports
Goal 1
1.4 - By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
1.b - Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions
Goal 3
3.1 - By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
3.2 - By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births
3.3 - By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
3.4 - By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being
3.7 - By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes
3.8 - Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all
Goal 4
4.1 - By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes
4.5 - By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations
4.7 - By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
4.a - Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all
4.c - By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States
Goal 5
5.1 - End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
5.2 - Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
5.3 - Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
5.c - Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels
Goal 6
6.1 - By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
6.2 - By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations
6.b - Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management
Goal 10
10.2 - By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
10.3 - Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard
Goal 16
16.5 - Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
16.6 - Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
16.7 - Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
16.10 - Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
Goal 17
17.18 - By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
Feb 2017
3. Citizen-generated, aggregated data from multiple countries, aligned to at least three SDGs
Feb 2018
4. A lessons learned document/event, including recommendations for adaptation and scale-up
June 2016
2. A tested, technical model for Participatory Monitoring of the SDGs, including architecture and indicators, plus a technical plan for piloting it
May 2016
1. A multi-stakeholder partnership established across multiple countries
Financing (in USD)
15,000 USD
In-kind contribution
CARE UK will contribute in-kind resources associated with managing/oversight of the pilot and CARE country offices such as CARE Malawi, CARE Ghana, CARE Rwanda, CARE Bangladesh and CARE Egypt and other potential strategic partners will contribute resource
Staff / Technical expertise
Three senior governance advisers, two technical consultants, one senior governance manager, one governance officer and CARE’s director for inclusive governance and senior governance specialists from partner organizations.

Basic information
Time-frame: 05/2016 - 09/2018
CARE International, Kwantu, selected CARE national country offices and partners across Africa, to be confirmed (for example CARE Malawi, CARE Rwanda, CARE Zambia and CARE Tanzania and other global and country-level partners- to be confirmed.
Contact information
Hayley Capp, Governance Policy Officer, capp@careinternational.org
United Nations