Citizen Science (participatory)

IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation

International Association of Public Participation, Spectrum of Public Participation, poster.

Created by the International Association of Public Participation, this chart helps scaffold the process for increasing meaningful engagement by addressing the goals, public communication, and example participation techniques. IAP2 is an international organization for knowledge sharing and capacity building of best practices for public participation. This straightforward graphic is based off of the Arnstein’s ladder of public participation and includes the categories of: inform, consult, involve, collaborate, empower. While this graphic does not provide any practical guidelines, it presents a clear framework for thinking about the work of public participation and can be a useful reference point.

Beyond Consensus: Improving Collaborative Planning and Management

Margerum, R. D., & others. (2011). Beyond Consensus: Improving Collaborative Planning and Management, MIT Press: Cambridge Mass.

This book highlights severali mportant parts of conducting a consensus meeting which is getting the right people into the group, how the participants are collaborating, and effective product generated from consensus.These chapters go in to great detail on each of these topics and cite numerous case studies as evidence of what to do, and what not to do.  This book is useful because it shows real world examples of many of the problems that can arise from convening a consensus meeting.  It illustrates that the consensus meeting starts long before the group sits down to collaborate and its results may effect projects for years after.  The case studies are from a range of governmental management and the focus of this book is how to have consensus meeting have a tangible effect on management and policy.

Sharing in innovation: Reflections on a partnership to improve livelihoods and resource conservation in the Honduran hillsides

Humphries, S., Jiménez, J., Sierra, F., & Gallardo, O. (2008). Sharing in innovation: Reflections on a partnership to improve livelihoods and resource conservation in the Honduran hillsides (pp. 36-54). L. Fortmann (Ed.). Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester, UK.

This article details a case study of a Participatory/activist Citizen Science that took place in Honduras.  It goes through the context in which that research arose, how the project evolved over 5 years (goals and participant contribution), the scientific methods used, and the results of the project.  This case study used the methodology developed by Dr. Jacqueline Ashbywhose work is cited above and demonstrated how principles of Participatory Research methodology can be translated into activist research in Citizen Science.  This case study shows how Participatory/activist Citizen Science can create social and environmental change and is one of the few examples of Participatory/activist Citizen Science methodology in practice.

Space Exploration Advocacy in the 21st Century: The Case for Participatory Science

Clarke, C. (2003). Space Exploration Advocacy in the 21st Century: The Case for Participatory Science, 9-41. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota. 

 This thesis gives a brief overview of Citizen Science and Participatory Research through a scientific lens.  It defines characteristics Participatory Science must have and what it should have.  This is important because it combines both research methodologies and lays out rules to follow for Participatory Science Research.  The characteristics are not incredibly detailed; however, they are rooted in key concepts that distinguish both Citizen Science and Participatory Research.  This is important because there is not much literature that exists on what exactly Participatory/activist Citizen Science is or, how to conduct Participatory/activist Citizen Science research.  The theoretical foundations of Participatory Research and Citizen Science concepts are present, but, the citations in which they originate are not.

Participatory Research Methods: A Methodological Approach in Motion.

Bergold, J., & Thomas, S. (2012). Participatory Research Methods: A Methodological Approach in Motion. Partizipative Forschungsmethoden: EinMethodischerAnsatz in Bewegung., 37(4), 191–222.

  This article gives a detailed account of what Participatory Research encompasses by describing several fundamental principles necessary for such research including a democratic social and political context, a safe place to express concerns, who participates, and how people participate.  In defining core principles, this article also addresses issues that can arise when conducting Participatory Research by examining Participatory Research projects from a variety of disciplines and synthesizing them.  This article provides a necessary framework under which Participatory/activist Citizen Science falls.  This article does a great job of summarizing many of the fundamental principles and key issues of Participatory Research. Due to the extensive and excellent citations, this article also provides easy access to a number of influential works in the disciplines of Participatory Action Research and Participatory Research for further reading into any of the theories, principles, and primary issues of this research.

Institutionalizing Participatory, Client-Driven Research and Technology Development in Agriculture

Ashby, J. A., & Sperling, L. (1995). Institutionalizing Participatory, Client-Driven Research and Technology Development in Agriculture. Development and Change, 26(4), 753–770.

This article outlines that the key principles of Participatory Research and Development methodology are client-driven research, research designed to address client needs, the responsibility of testing is placed on the farmers, and holding all parties involved accountable for the technology is required.  These issues overlap with Participatory/activist Research Methodologies where the client is interchangeable with ‘participant’.  This article argues that Participatory Research and Development is necessary to deliver necessary agricultural technologies to the wide range of client needs.  This article is important because it illustrates the importance of this research in creating tangible benefits to the farmers.  It presents a methodology directed at affecting institutions first, and through this affect, local farmers second.