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Accepted Paper:

What role does data play in advancing CSO’s advocacy legitimacy? An ethnographic case study of a CSO in Shanghai  
Vivian Guo (IT University of Copenhagen)

Paper short abstract:

We explore the role of data and digital technologies in legitimizing CSOs' work in China, especially how they make sense of their advocacy work in relation to ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) data, and local dynamic and micro-power relations between government, market and civil society.

Paper long abstract:

Under the global development discourse advocating green transition and digital transformation, a growing number of initiatives led by local civil society organizations (CSOs) are being initiated in China. They are increasingly engaging various forms/types of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) data and utilizing related digital technologies (such as AI, IoT, big data etc.) to advocate for environmental protection and climate change mitigation. This paper presents a case study of a Shanghai-based CSO who is specialized in ESG data gathering and processing and has been well recognized in the local ESG professional community. We explore the role of data and digital technologies in legitimizing the ongoing CSOs’ work in the Chinese context. The article addresses the question: How does this Shanghai CSO execute its ‘advocacy’ through ESG data? and we especially give voice to the world of local CSOs, understanding and learning from their perspectives, experiences, and initiatives. Our ambition is to demonstrate how such organizations make sense of their work in relation to data, what types of change they helped enact, in terms of its forms/types they managed to push forward socially just development, as well as how (and why) they did so. Furthermore, the article contributes to the rethinking narrative on social justice development practices and approaches in terms of data justice and governance.

Panel P04
Data justice and development [Digital Technologies, Data and Development SG]
  Session 2 Thursday 27 June, 2024, -