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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
Goal 3
Goal 4
Goal 5
Goal 6
Goal 10
Goal 16
Goal 17
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