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Canadians in line COVID

Inclusive Monitoring to Leave No One Behind in Canada

Despite Canada's high average household income, numerous groups living in Canada are marginalized and at risk of being left behind in the push to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 14% of people in Canada were designated as poor due to their low income. Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, lone parents, recent immigrants, and several other groups disproportionately experience deprivation because of racism, geographic isolation, poor governance, and inherited socioeconomic burdens. The COVID-19 crisis has aggravated many of these factors and pushed several groups further behind.

Leaving no one behind in Canada behind requires a clear understanding of who is being left behind, the reasons why they are being left behind, and what their needs are to catch up. Good data on marginalized groups and the factors of marginalization are essential to understand the needs of marginalized people and how these needs have changed through the pandemic.

Previous IISD research on monitoring the well-being of marginalized people living in Canada revealed several data-related challenges, including:

  • Insufficient data on groups inherently difficult to count, such as unhoused people and First Nations communities living on reserve
  • Different perceptions, values, and priorities among marginalized groups that lead to diverging perceptions of their situations and measures needed
  • Barriers to using data from non-official sources
  • A lack of tools to integrate data from various sources and combining data with qualitative information for a more holistic understanding of marginalization.

This follow-up project aims to support more inclusive monitoring of the well-being of marginalized people in Canada by exploring the potential for a multi-tiered measurement approach where local communities and marginalized groups participate in gathering, governing, and using data to measure the state of their well-being in the SDG context. To do so, IISD will:

  • Identify non-official data sources, including data collected by local communities and organizations working with marginalized groups
  • Assess data quality and potential to complement official measurements
  • Understand the ownership of these data and the principles and rules governing their use
  • Identify good practices of engaging marginalized groups in collecting, governing, and using data describing them and using data-based advocacy strategies 

The project will present its results in a series of articles, offering research findings but primarily centring the voices of members of marginalized groups as they share their insights into:

  • Leaving no one behind in Canada and existing data on marginalized groups 
  • Concepts, frameworks, and methodologies
  • Data sources 
  • Good practices for engagement and opportunities for inclusive monitoring.

All articles will be available on this project page. Selected articles will be republished as op-eds or on other outlets, including the SDG knowledge HubAlliance 2030, or the International Leave No One Behind Partnership.  A handbook will synthesize the main findings of the projects and derive recommendations for action.