The Social Observatory - Participatory Tracking Data Collection

December 29, 2013

Data collection is almost always an extractive activity. Outsiders (including the Social Observatory) come in, harass much poorer respondents for several hours with questions, and their responses are entered into a digital database and analyzed statistically to discern patterns, conduct evaluations etc. This serves mainly to inform policy and produce research. The respondents who gave their time do not see direct benefits from this process (though they might benefit indirectly if the data analysis results in policy decisions that have a positive impact on their lives). P-tracking or Peer-tracking is an effort to reverse this process and empower respondents to analyze and act on their own data.