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From citizen-based data collection to joint knowledge creation: the Ground Truth 2.0 citizen observatories

Uta Wehn

(Submission #385)


Owing to ICT-enabled citizen science, citizens can take on new roles in environmental monitoring, decision making and co-operative planning, and environmental stewardship. And yet implementing advanced citizen observatories for data collection, knowledge exchange and interactions to support policy objectives is neither always easy nor successful, given the required commitment, trust, and data reliability concerns. Many efforts are facing problems with the uptake and sustained engagement by citizens, limited scalability, unclear long-term sustainability and limited actual impact on governance processes. Similarly, to sustain the engagement of decision makers in citizen observatories, we need to create mechanisms from the start of the initiative in order to have them invest in and, hence, commit to and own the entire process. The Ground Truth 2.0 project consists of the demonstration and validation of six scaled up citizen observatories in real operational conditions both in the EU and in Africa, with a specific focus on flora and fauna as well as water availability and water quality for land and natural resources management. The demonstration cases (4 EU and 2 African) cover the full 'spectrum’ of citizen-sensed data usage and citizen engagement, and therefore allow testing and validating of the concept and technologies, and evaluation of their impacts under a range of conditions. In order to implement sustainable citizen observatories for the demonstration of their societal and economic benefits, we use a trans-disciplinary approach consisting of a multi-actor innovation process to co-design citizen observatories, combining the social dimensions of citizen observatories with enabling technologies so that their customisation and deployment is tailored to the envisaged societal and economic impacts of the observatories. This strengthens the full feedback-loop in the information chain from citizen-based data collection to knowledge sharing for joint decision-making and cooperative planning.


Topic Area:  [2.7] Citizen science/crowd sourcing
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

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