Data collection, monitoring and evaluation are critical for the successful implementation of the SDGs. Hence, tracking progress towards the SDGs requires high-quality, timely and accessible data, often in areas or for sectors where little or no data exists today. Traditional means to gather such data have been through household surveys but these are costly, the results may be biased, and they are not collected frequently enough to track policy interventions. New innovative approaches to data collection make use of Earth observation (EO) to address some of the SDG data needs, and numerous examples demonstrate this (e.g. tracking deforestation from satellites). Moreover Citizen Science (CS) can play an important role in both monitoring and implementation of the SDGs. In particular, the combined use of Geospatial data, E O and CS can help to: 1. Monitor progress towards the SDGs in a spatially explicit way and provide spatially explicit proxy indicators; 2. Improve the frequency of monitoring SDG progress and hence provide a policy feedback loop 3. Complement traditional household surveys via additional heterogeneous data (e.g. socio-economic data, crop management information, etc.) that are not collected in traditional surveys. The COP-SDGs session will discuss potential and challenges of using CS data in the SDG process and draw on information derived from a recent workshop held at IIASA.
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