Better use of citizen-generated data for public policy

National piloting and adaptation

Consultant to pilot the development of a toolkit for

producers of citizen-generated data in Vietnam

Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD) – in collaboration with the International Civil Society Centre (Centre) and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)


Citizen-generated data (CGD), such as community-driven data, and citizen science data, are flourishing globally both in filling data gaps for SDGs and in encouraging the participation of citizens, civil societies, and community-based organizations in producing data for public policy more broadly. The process of producing citizen-generated data, usually heavily driven and participated by citizens, is a great channel for data collectors and governments to engage and connect with their stakeholders, i.e., citizens. Engagement of citizens further helps improve transparency and accountability of government.

The official statistical community, which is often tasked with producing high-quality data for policymaking, increasingly recognizes the value of citizen-generated data. However, concerns over the lack of quality standards have created barriers to their extensive use for policy making. To help break this barrier, the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) has developed a draft Quality Assurance Toolkit for citizen-generated data producers. The Toolkit provides a framework to plan and document the process of data collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination. When properly used, the documentation helps CGD producers better communicate the quality of collected data with the official statistical community, hence increasing the likelihood of the CGD data being used to inform policy actions.

The Quality Assurance Toolkit for CGD is an output under the initial stage of a 3-stage project that UNSD is leading. Stage 2 of the project is to develop a Toolkit for NSOs to incorporate CGD in official statistics and stage 3 is to develop a total error framework for citizen-generated data using an approach similar to the total survey error (TSE) framework.

To further develop and finalize the development of the global toolkit, and to support national CSOs in their data-driven advocacy work on a national level, a pilot will be carried out in Vietnam with civil society organizations that are interested in producing data for policymaking. The civil society organizations participating in this pilot are part of the national Leave No One Behind coalition in Vietnam. Over the last four years, these organizations have worked together closely, producing community-driven data that was used to monitor the situation of marginalized groups in the country. The data was used to raise awareness about the situation of these groups with local and national decision-makers. Recommendations for improved policies and services have been produced and discussed with local authorities and service providers. While the produced data and recommendations were perceived with great interest by decision-makers and service providers at the local level, their use for national-level planning is possible only to a limited extent. This is due to the lack of binding guidelines for the generation and use of civil society data as a complementary source of information next to official statistical data.

A similar set of practical guides for the use of citizen-generated data has recently been introduced in Kenya[1] [2] and would be most helpful to pave the ground for greater use of civil society data in policy making. Producing similar guidance in Vietnam, linked to UNSD’s global Toolkit, will be key for improving the capacity of national civil society organizations on fundamental data collection, processing, and dissemination principles, thereby also increasing the usability of civil society data in policy planning. At the same time, this will be an important contribution towards creating a functional global Toolkit for CGD that is based on and informed by best practices and learnings from the national level.

While the establishment of quality assurance frameworks for civil society data is key, it is of equally high importance that civil society data producers are heard from the outset in the planning of a data toolkit. Without a clear understanding of their methodologies, capacities, and limitations as data producers, a guideline that aims to familiarise civil society actors with statistical standards and practices will be of no avail: civil society must co-own such a guideline together with the National Statistics office (NSO) and relevant line ministries.[3]

In this context the consultant will coordinate closely with the already established network of civil society data producers in Vietnam, the national Leave No One Behind coalition, who have been in close exchange with relevant line ministries over the past years. The national LNOB coalition will form the national project implementation team, working closely with the consultant. The United Nations Statistics Division will ensure the involvement of the NSO in this project.

Against this overall background, MSD (lead organization of the national Leave No One Behind coalition in Vietnam) in collaboration with the Centre (global secretariat of the Leave No One Behind Partnership) and UNSD are hiring a consultant to produce a national toolkit in Vietnam and thereby develop relevant guidance for national civil society data producers, supporting them in bringing their data to use in the planning of policies and services. The produced national toolkit will also feed into the global Toolkit of UNSD.



  • Assessing and documenting the overall status of social organizations in producing data that are relevant for relevant population groups or communities, especially the marginalized ones (i.e: children, youth, women, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, etc.)
  • Piloting the Quality Assurance Toolkit in Vietnam to contribute to the revision and finalization of the global Toolkit;
  • Providing guidance for the building of capacities of national and local social organizations on basic principles of data collection, processing, and dissemination;


Throughout the work assignment, the consultant will be supported by MSD and UNSD in establishing initial contact with social actors, the NSO, and relevant ministries. The toolkit to be produced by the consultant is meant to become an important pillar for the ongoing (data) collaboration between these actors.


  1. Facilitate a joint meeting between NSO, line ministries and representatives from the LNOB coalition, and other stakeholders to discuss details of producing a national toolkit pilot. Activities include:

a, Produce meeting agenda

b, Moderate meeting, ensuring there will be a mutual agreement

c, Write meeting report

  1. Produce a national report on citizen-generated data and its use for public policy. The report will cover information obtained through the activities below:

a, Reach out to national LNOB coalition, identifying their ‘status quo’ with regard to the use of citizen-generated data in the context of the national SDG process and/or in the planning of policies and services. Activities include:

  • Conduction of interviews with this target group, compile and record the following information:
    • How were citizens (including different communities) engaged, at different stages of the data value chain (from the initial consultation on who to collect, what to collect, when to collect, where to collect, and how to collect, to data collection, analysis, presentation, dissemination and feedback to the community or policymaker)?
    • What benefit did these engagements bring? Who were the beneficiaries?
    • Who organized the engagement with citizens?
    • What are the planned objectives of such engagement?
    • How are data used?
    • What are the challenges in integrating these data into the official statistics?
  • Map policy network: at which levels have social organizations successfully worked with policymakers and service providers, where are limitations
  • Assess the need for capacity building among social organizations on official statistics and/or data literacy

b, Reach out to National Statistical Office and relevant line ministries (identified through interviews with social organisations in the first step). Activities include:

  • Map interests and reservations of NSO and line ministries about using social organizations’ data
  • Discuss feedback from social organizations including their self-assessment as data producers (capacities, limitations, expectations, etc.).
  • Determine in which concrete areas / SDGs there is the highest interest for working on a national toolkit pilot

c, Provide assistance to the national Leave No One Behind coalition, select a focus SDG, target groups, and a citizen-generated data source:

  • Support the data producer in completing the Global Toolkit
  • Document the challenges in completing the Toolkit
  • Make suggestions to improve the Global Toolkit

d, Share the draft prepared above with social organizations, NSO, and line ministries and ensure there is an overall agreement for a final toolkit.

  1. Once overall agreement is achieved: provide general training to social organizations. Activities include:

a, Adapting the global Toolkit into a national context and provide a 10-16 hour training course (2 days, 5 hours per day) on the use of the Toolkit including:

  • Fundamental data collection, processing, and dissemination principles
  • How to document data production processes, following the Toolkit
  • How to leverage the relative advantages of CGD in SDG monitoring. Training materials include presentations, hands-on course projects, and a small-group discussion facilitation plan.

b, Delivering the training and facilitating the class plenary and group discussions

c, Providing technical advice and feedback to course participants on the course project and facilitating the small-group discussion.

d, Gathering and documenting feedbacks to the global Toolkit through class plenary and group discussions.

4. Participate and share information and progress in the sharing meetings and meetings of ‘advisory group members’ and of ‘implementation team’

5. Advise and contribute to the detailed design of the key activities namely national dialogue/forum on CGD, national dialogue/forum on selected SDGs (i.e SDG 5, SDG 10, SDG 16, etc.), community scorecard exercise, the final sharing and dissemination meeting, and make presentations/share or facilitate about the CGD as and when necessary.

6. Take part in the occasional sharing and reflection meetings with P4R, DESA, and GIZ.


  • A national report/toolkit as specified above that covers the situation of CSO data and their use for public policy and SDG monitoring. Reflections, lessons learned, and recommendations based on the key activities of the project.
  • Adapted course materials, including presentations and tutorials, which are to be uploaded to the global Toolkit project’s wiki site for distribution to participants one week before the training course.


The consultant will work for 30 – 45 workdays in the period of 1 September (expected date) until the end of December 2022.


The workstation the consultant will be at the office of MSD.


Occasional local travel would be managed by the consultant.



  • The degree to which the training series is, concise, clearly structured and presented.
  • Substantive materials are delivered in an orderly, clear, and engaging manner.
  • Active engagement and interaction with participants to ensure proper understanding of the information
  • Effective time management of the training sessions.
  • Well-drafted documents


  • University degree in statistics, mathematics, social science, or a related field.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with the official statistics production process and the Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM).
  • Basic knowledge of citizen-generated data and social organizations is required.
  • Experience in working with social organizations in Vietnam is preferred.
  • Proven skills in designing, implementing, monitoring, and reporting training initiatives.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in conducting need assessments and developing training modules/curriculum, training materials, etc.
  • Familiarity with the 2030 Agenda and the SDG indicator framework.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, analytical and interpersonal abilities, and excellent oral and written communication skills in Vietnamese and English.
  • Knowledge of the National Statistical Office is preferred.


The person in charge of this consultancy is:


The contract offered to the selected consultant will be a Service Agreement. The agreement will be provided to the offeror whose offer will be the most advantageous in terms of cost, functionality, and other factors as specified in this call.

MSD as the hiring organization reserves the right to:

  • Reject any or all offers and discontinue the call process without obligation or liability to any potential offeror or other parties.
  • Accept other than the lowest price offered.
  • Award a contract on the basis of initial offers received, without discussions or requests for best and final offers.
  • Award more than one contract.


 Interested individual consultants must submit their proposals (in English, PDF Format) to demonstrate their qualifications via email to: and cc no later than: 23.59 hrs., 27 September 2022 (Hanoi time) with the subject line “MSD – LNOB CGD Toolkit Consultant Application”.



[3] Compare the joint learning report of ICSC, Partners for Review, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights:


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