Mountains in the Chaning World, Mountains in the Chaning World

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How to get and keep citizens and practitioners involved in participatory monitoring of hydrological systems?
Martine Rutten, Jeff Davids

Last modified: 2017-08-23


Motivation is a key element of citizen science hydrological monitoring. Many campaigns fail because volunteers are hard to recruit or drop out early, or because the data collected by citizen scientists is not trusted, and therefore not used. In this interactive talk, we (1) address motivations of citizens to enter and keep participating in monitoring campaigns, (2) motivations of practitioners to include participatory monitoring as a means of collecting data, and (3) motivations for practitioners to make use of these data for decision making. Motivations of citizens and practitioners to participate in citizen science have mainly been studied in developed countries. One of the crucial elements for citizens is that they would like to contribute to science. Therefore, feedback on how their data are used seems essential to keep citizens involved. Viewpoints of practitioners ranged from the opinion that citizen science is merely interesting for education to the idea that citizen science can provide useful information. First, we will present a review of motivational factors for both citizens and practitioners. Next, in an active debate with the audience, we will compare and contrast these motivational factors to findings in Nepal, Myanmar, and Vietnam. We also address the methodological design of motivation studies, with particular focus on their potential weakness to socially desirable answers and responder bias. Finally, together with the audience, we will discuss how we can design sustainable and effective citizen science campaigns from the perspective of the citizen and practitioner.

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