Citizen-Driven Measurement of Sustainable Development Goals

How Perceptions Data measurement contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Bouaké U-Reporters.


In 2016, UNICEF Innovation began working with Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy to answer research questions related to SDGs monitoring.  Member States are currently asking UNICEF and UNCTs for advice on how to measure SDGs in a number of countries.  The goals themselves have been categorized into three tiers with the third tier not having a defined methodology for measurement.  Meanwhile, member states have committed to a participatory approach in the 2015 SDG Declaration.  Against this backdrop, UNICEF has over 6.5 million people opted into a youth empowerment tool called U-Report, which has the capability to collect and analyse data in real-time across 55 countries and growing.  There is demand from Member States for support in data collection, a building body of literature supporting the idea of “perception data”, a written commitment from governments to listen to community and UNICEF with a competitive advantage as a key partner of a powerful citizen data collection tool that could potentially be used to meet these needs and keep children’s goals top of the agenda at the same time.


However, the tool itself (U-Report) is currently not widely used for goal monitoring and evaluation, but for awareness raising of child rights, behaviour change campaigns, providing virtual health services, and obtaining real-time beneficiary feedback on UNICEF programmes.  So the question arose: With the demand in place for a solution, how can UNICEF best utilise or adapt existing tools such as U-Report to meet the demand?

Anita Dhillon, Ian Reinert, & Daniel Willett
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