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Article

Local Action with Global Impact: The Case of the GROW Observatory and the Sustainable Development Goals

1
Social Digital, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK
2
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 2361 Laxenburg, Austria
3
Department of Societal Transition and Agriculture, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
4
Edinburgh Futures Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH3 9DF, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10518; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410518
Received: 5 October 2020 / Revised: 30 November 2020 / Accepted: 3 December 2020 / Published: 16 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
This article reports on Citizen Observatories’ (COs) potential to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reflecting on the experience of the GROW Observatory (GROW). The research aims to take the first steps in closing the gap in the literature on COs’ potential contributions to the SDG framework, beyond quantitative data contributions for indicator monitoring. Following an analysis of project activities and outcomes mapped against the SDG framework, the findings reveal GROW’s potential contributions across two dimensions: (i) Actions to advance the implementation of goals and targets through awareness raising and training; participatory methods; multi-stakeholder connections; and supporting citizens to move from data to action and (ii) Data contributions to SDG indicator monitoring through citizen-generated datasets. While earlier research has focused mostly on the latter (dimension ii), CO activities can impact numerous goals and targets, highlighting their potential to relate global SDGs to local level action, and vice versa. These findings align with the growing literature on COs’ ability to bring together policy makers, scientists and citizens, and support changes to environmental policy and practice. Furthermore, this research suggests groundwork activities that address the goal and target level can also enhance sustained data collection to contribute to indicator level monitoring. We conclude with future trends and recommendations for COs wishing to contribute to the SDGs. View Full-Text
Keywords: Citizen Observatory; Sustainable Development Goals; participatory policy making; co-design; citizen science; SDG indicators; open data Citizen Observatory; Sustainable Development Goals; participatory policy making; co-design; citizen science; SDG indicators; open data
MDPI and ACS Style

Ajates, R.; Hager, G.; Georgiadis, P.; Coulson, S.; Woods, M.; Hemment, D. Local Action with Global Impact: The Case of the GROW Observatory and the Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability 2020, 12, 10518. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410518

AMA Style

Ajates R, Hager G, Georgiadis P, Coulson S, Woods M, Hemment D. Local Action with Global Impact: The Case of the GROW Observatory and the Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability. 2020; 12(24):10518. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410518

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ajates, Raquel, Gerid Hager, Pavlos Georgiadis, Saskia Coulson, Mel Woods, and Drew Hemment. 2020. "Local Action with Global Impact: The Case of the GROW Observatory and the Sustainable Development Goals" Sustainability 12, no. 24: 10518. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410518

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