Data Challenges

Data, regardless if it is qualitative or quantitative, is essential for the effective implementation of your projects. However, gathering data is often a challenge. If you have a workshop setting with several participating cities or neighbourhoods, use this range of knowledge! Providing the opportunity for discussion and exchange on similar challenges among peers from different cities or neighbourhoods can help create innovative ideas on indicators and data collection.



Inspiring discussions and think processes on data and indicators


Choose the option which would fit best in your context and setting.



Goal: Peer-exchange on results from exercise on linking project indicators to global targets

Context: In the previous task, your workshop participants have identified projects as an answer to current challenges in their city and in relation to global goals.


  • Ask the groups, each representing one city or neighbourhood, to choose one of the issues that they find the most relevant to their city or which they personally find the most interesting.
  • Then mix up the groups according to the prioritised issues. Ideally, each group consists of several participants from different cities or neighbourhoods facing similar issues (for instance: environment and climate change; urban sprawl on agricultural land / land management; education; water and sanitation; informal settlements; urban mobility; etc.).
  • Ask the groups to discuss the following questions and to write down their main findings:
    • What type of data exists in your city when looking at the prioritised issue?
    • Is it suitable to monitor trends and progress on the issue?
    • What are challenges regarding the data?
    • What are possible solutions to deal with these challenges?



Goal: Focus on success stories available in certain sectoral areas. If there are no good practices available, provide the opportunity for brainstorming and developing ideas and suggestions.

Context: Data is crucial in order to build indicators, baselines and to analyse if targets are being met. To get data in good and reliable quality is a key challenge.


  • Form working groups and ask your participant to explore concrete success stories and innovative ideas on data management in their respective sectors or areas of work. Try to bring participants together from different districts and/or sectoral departments to foster peer learning and integrated approaches.
  • Ask the working groups to summarise their findings, e.g. on flip charts, and to present them to the plenum. Ideas for visualisation could be:
    • List of success stories named by participants
    • Detailed information about one or two of the success stories (key facts about the case, who was involved, reasons for success, transferability criteria, etc.)
    • List of other ideas to improve data management at local level



All kinds of visualisation materials and handouts if needed



1 to 2 hours


Understanding different success factors for adequate and reliable data and monitoring.