Crowdsourcing Global Development Goals

Published Oct-14-13

A global crowdsourcing initiative uses digital media and mobile phone technology to help end poverty and build a global agenda for sustainable development. It’s providing decision makers with unprecedented access to real-time intelligence from citizens of the world.

The United Nations

The Story:

Crowdsourcing Global Development Goals The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that were established following the 2000 United Nations Millennium Summit. They have galvanized global attention and resources to help the poorest people in the world. Although they have achieved much, such as reducing the number of people living in poverty to less than half of the 1990 level, a lot of work still needs to be done.

To that end, the UN is building on the work of the MDGs by using modern telecommunications and internet technology to include as many people as possible in setting new targets and goals.

A Global Conversation

The World We Want is a web platform where ordinary members of the public are collaboratively developing policy ideas on issues such as urban inequalities, poverty and gender equality. Additionally, they are participating in the My World survey by voting for the top six of 16 priorities. These will be shared with world leaders to help them shape the next global development agenda.

People who live in areas where there is no internet access are also able to take part in the global crowdsourcing project. For example, workshops have been held in Amazonian regions of Peru and Ecuador where communities aren’t plugged into communications grids.

Mass Participation

Up until late summer 2013, more than half a million people had taken part and were driving three key issues to the top of the agenda.

• Progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals must be
accelerated and that this must happen by 2015.

• Future development goals will need to address such issues as sustainability
and security from violence and jobs.

• People want to participate, not just in agenda setting but also in monitoring
progress. This is not some kind of tokenistic exercise, but one where people
are demanding to take an active role. Crowdsourcing and web and
telephone technology are giving the world’s peoples unprecedented
opportunities to unite in the pursuit of common goals and to inform and
guide political leaders.

Preliminary Results

The preliminary results from all these global conversations have been compiled and presented in a report - Global Conversation Begins- to the UN member states. In September 2013, a final report was delivered to the UN General Secretary and world leaders who will ultimately decide the future agenda and development goals.

Crowdsourcing Concerns Gets Results

By crowdsourcing the public’s concerns and opinions the UN has responded to a call for mass participation in the shaping of the new global development agenda. The project provided negotiators and decision makers with real-time data from people living in dozens of countries. A few years ago this would not have been possible.

The commitment and drive from the world’s citizens has been astounding and will help to determine the replacements for the MDGs after their 2015 target date has been met.

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