A recent news article in the Globe and Mail highlighted Canada’s data crisis and identified at least 28 critical gaps. These gaps intersect multiple sectors, ranging from health and education to environment, justice and Indigenous issues — a dearth that leaves researchers and policy makers in the dark. The article implicated governmental malaise for the inability to tackle this problem.

It is not surprising that governments at all three levels have been unable to foresee the existing data gaps and prepare for the digital age. Governments and government-funded entities, such as Statistics Canada, are not known for their speed and flexibility to adapt to emerging data needs.

It may be unwise to place the entire onus on government-mandated institutions, as slow-moving bureaucracy inherently places them at a disadvantage. Perhaps it is time to re-envision the paradigm of how data are collected, used and portrayed to the public. As a population health policy researcher, my expertise is in utilizing digital tools to engage citizens and communities to inform health policies.

Continue reading here: https://theconversation.com/citizen-science-can-help-solve-our-data-crisis-112669