Citizen science for local government

Created Dec. 23, 2021, 1:50 p.m.
Updated Jan. 30, 2024, 9:12 a.m.

Recent technological and societal advancements are allowing an increasing number of citizens to participate  in citizen science. At the same time, government institutions are adopting data-driven decision-making practices, are exploring the potential added value of citizen science data. 

However, local governments are not always fully acquainted with citizen science methodologies, nor with its potential benefits or pitfalls. They are in need of further support to set-up citizen science initiatives themselves, or to collaborate successfully with citizen-driven projects. 

In order to address these issues, we have developed a guidebook on citizen science with and for local governments in Flanders (Belgium). This project was tendered by the Flemish Agency for Home Affairs. 

The guide introduces the concept of citizen science to local policymakers. It goes into the characteristics of citizen science and its advantages for towns and cities. A step-by-step guide to setting up a project is included, as well as an overview of the roles a local government body can take up in different citizen science projects. Additionally, it focuses on data and measurement tools, success factors as well as potential risks. Finally, the guide is full of inspirational examples of citizen science projects.

The guide has been translated to English from Dutch.

Publish information

Year of publication: 2021
License: Creative Commons CC-BY

Links with projects and/or organisations

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