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Full Title 

Web COmmunities for Statistics for Social Innovation

Started on 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Istat - Italian National Statistical Institute
Embedded thumbnail for Web-COSI
Embedded thumbnail for Web-COSI
Embedded thumbnail for Web-COSI
Ιnvolving people to create and use statistics about well-being

Web-COSI aims at involving communities in the creation and use of statistics about well-being that go beyond the traditional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) economic indicator, taking into account indicators that include also social aspects of progress. Web-COSI will create a number of interactive tools to reach this objective.


Why is our project important? 

Official statistics produced by National Statistical Offices affect citizens in many ways.  These statistics are used for creating and evaluating those policies (on health, employment, education etc)  that influence the everyday life of each of us. In addition to these official statistics, so-called non-official statistics are being created by e.g. non-governmental organizations (e.g. statistics on air quality, or on freedom of information), and trade associations (e.g. data on consumers of certain products). While the non-official statistics can be often not reliable, they can potentially  support and complement the information that can be derived from the official statistics.
The most common way we come across official statistics is when we hear or read about how a city or a country is doing in comparison with another. This comparison is traditionally based on GDP, which is purely an economic measure of progress. But, because the improvement of societies is not only measurable in money, a need to integrate GDP with new indicators for the measurement of well-being (statistics on e.g. happiness, bullying at school) and societal progress (e.g. decrease in crime, increase in number of healthy years in ones lifetime) has been recognized.  Besides the efforts made by official statistics to develop new indicators beyond GDP, here the non-official statistics produced thanks to the citizens’ engagement can complement the official ones.
Web-COSI encourages the use of both official and non-official statistics, fosters the development of crowd-based statistics about well-being, offers government new insights on the well-being of their citizens and facilitates the access of citizens to data that can be useful for their everyday life choices (e.g. when choosing a field of study, or contemplating moving to another EU country).

What are our goals? 

  • To increase trust in collectively generated statistics
  • To encourage the use of both official and non-official statistics
  • To improve the collection, production and visualisation of data related to societal progress and well-being 
  • To facilitate access, uploading and use of data produced by grassroots civil society organisations
  • To promote the use of a broader range of statistics to inform the development of new indicators

Initiatives, tools and services we have already launched 

  • Data portal Wiki of Progress Statistics is a tool to share well-being data and statistical resources such as reports, visualizations and interactive tools. A continual improvement of the portal is envisaged thanks to the contributions by data producers, users and communicator. Feel free to take a look at  the portal
  • Interactive crowd-sourced map of existing initiatives on well-being and societal progress in the world is hosted by the portal. This is a user-friendly and comprehensive repository allowing you to find relevant and up-to-date information about existing  initiatives. Looking for an initiative in your country? Check it out here.
  • A citizens campaign “Youth section” on the Wikiprogress platform has been launched to allow young people to discuss well-being issues and to increase the chance to be heard by the policy makers. Take a look at the page and let your voice as European youngster be heard! 
  • European Wikiprogress University Programme has been set up within Youth section in order to create a network of education institutions to teach students about statistics beyond GDP and to get them involved in individual or group projects to develop knowledge and data. The first example of partnership has been created at the University of Florence (QoLexity Masters Course; the second level university master). 
  • Numerous online discussions, online events, focus groups as well as workshops have been conducted on a range of topics such as the engagement of civil society in well-being statistics, the accessibility of data and statistics for citizens and the importance and role of new technologies to engage citizens towards using well-being data. The perspectives from different stakeholders can be deepened reading through the reports by the project partners.

Initiatives, tools and services we are still working on 

  • Data visualization competition on the Wikiprogress platform (spring-summer 2015) in order to visualise the data about well-being in a clear, attractive and understandable way for citizens and other non-experts. The three prize-winners have been announced and have  won an interesting prize: present their visualisations to the 5th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy in Guadalajara in Mexico in October 2015 where academics, practitioners, civil society organisations, officials and high-level experts and world-leaders will gather.  
  • Short film for YouTube and social media distribution to popularise the use of data amongst citizens and entrepreneurs and to give a very quick overview of the results achieved throughout the two-year project.
  • Final conference addressing stakeholders, researchers, entrepreneurs, consumers, citizens and others to encourage debates, present project results and future challenges.. If you feel like participating register your interest by e-mailing team@i-genius.org

Who will benefit from our project? 

  • Non-governmental organizations and universities who will be able to enlarge the debate about statistics, but also to allow them to contribute current data to the portal and for the portal to act as a resource for them.
  • Researchers, practitioners and students who will be able to use data that comes from both official sources ( NSIs and government bodies) and non-official data (from NGO’s and grassroots organizations and communities)
  • Journalists, social entrepreneurs, bloggers, policy makers, campaigners who will be able to communicate in a more informed way on issues of well-being using this richer pool of data
  • Data visualizers and app developers who can come up with novel ways to visualize the data that better meets the demands of the users.

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