The workshop started with an introduction about crowdsourcing, and examples of SDG crowdsourcing projects, follow up by a short presentation of the project each of the participants was working on. The participants were asked to identify the main challenges they were facing when scaling up their SDG projects.
The rest of the conversation went over the challenges and potential solutions, both at the level of each of the project as a common solutions.
Crowdsourcing benefits and opportunities for SDGs:
- Participation is crowdsourcing projects contribute arising awareness and potentially changing the behaviour of people participating in SDG crowdsourcing project.
- Crowdsourcing has been proof as a great hand-on educational technology. When a volunteer contribute for example, mapping water resources in Tanzania, it is also learning about crowdsourcing, about the water resources level of the country, etc...
- Crowd sourcing as data collection tool for measuring the evolution of the SDGs. Involving citizen on the collection of data regarding SDGs would provide a bottom-up approach and it would be a potential source of data for those SDG metrics with unknown data source.
- Crowdsourcing as a set of tools for empowering local and global initiatives to run their own SDG crowdsourcing project. The crowdsourcing tools would reduce implementation/maintenance cost, and would reduce the know how needed to set up the initiatives. Potential developed countries could benefits of a set of tools for running SDG crowdsourcing projects in their local communities.
The main challenge identified over the people participating in the workshop is awareness. People will not think about running a crowdsourcing project if they don't know what is crowdsourcing, and even less.. they will not run an SDG project if they don't know what is SDG.
Crowdsourcing both at the level of participation and and the level of project creations required to arise awareness between the citizens. Terms such as citizen science, DIY, SDGs, or crowdsourcing, are still far to be broadly known by the public.
Additionally Know how seems to be one of the biggest challenges when setting up a SDG crowdsourcing project. I.e. Where I start, what I would need to know, which tools I should use, how much resources I would need.. are typical questions.
Another challenge for scaling SGDs solutions is to involve stake holders and decision makers. Usually they request a validation and prove about the data quality provide by the crowd. Even though it is has been a topic widely discuss in the scientific community, while crowdsourcing contribution has been at the level of experts or even better it seems still a challenge.