Connecting People and Knowledge

                                                              

Connecting People and Knowledge

In order to mitigate further growth of slums as well as improve slum dweller livelihoods, the call for modern day data analysis is the next step. Responses will be incomplete and inaccurate if related data is non-existent or unreliable, or if it doesn’t reflect the reality on the ground. Considering the admitted shortcomings in measuring the attainment of the Millenium Development Goals both the approved Sustainable Development Goals and the proposed New Urban Agenda call for a data revolution to guide their implementation efforts and monitor their achievements, as accurate and reliable means of measurement have been identified as key to successfully attaining these goals.

Development of participatory, robust, standardized and computerized data collection processes. Localised qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis systems to better understand local urban contexts in a more timely and accessible manner should be adopted. In particular, slum dwellers should be engaged and lead innovative solutions to gather local data to address the social, cultural and economic dynamics of slums. Data collected at community level must be standardized and linked to broader city, regional, national and global monitoring and evaluation initiatives, thus contributing to the data revolution needed to check the attainment of sustainable urban development. Platforms that draw on the knowledge of stakeholders involved in the improvement of slums, especially slum dwellers themselves, must be prioritized in order to facilitate information and experience exchange as well as peer learning opportunities. These platforms may include a range of communication strategies and multi-media mechanisms.    

In the current context, accurate, localized, standardized and available qualitative and quantitative data on informal settlements and slums and associated learning platforms remain limited. Data is often ad hoc and not connected to robust city-wide monitoring and evaluation processes, consequently the dimensions of inhabitants’ lives remain unknown to policy and planning responses. Thus the data revolution will give us the opportunity to be able to participate, to be able to change and organize things and orient the goals to what is really relevant. It will make space for communities to innovate together with governments, creating a city-wide, national network that can contribute to changing the social and spatial patterns of the urban context as well as strengthen citizenships.