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Article

Coordinator Perceptions When Assessing the Impact of Citizen Science towards Sustainable Development Goals

1
Earthwatch, Oxford OX2 7DE, UK
2
IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands
3
The River Restoration Centre, Cranfield MK4 30A, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marc A. Rosen, Florian Heigl, Steffen Fritz, Daniel Dörler and Silke L. Voigt-Heucke
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2377; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042377
Received: 18 December 2020 / Revised: 12 February 2021 / Accepted: 18 February 2021 / Published: 23 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Tracking progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires high-quality, timely, and accessible data, often in areas where data are rarely available. Problems exist due to socioeconomic variations between countries and the qualitative nature of certain indicators in their definition. Citizen science has the potential to contribute to several SDGs. However, whilst citizen science’s potential to contribute towards SDGs is well documented, limitations exist when measuring the impact that citizen science has made toward SDG progress. To better understand the issues and prospective solutions surrounding impact assessment towards SDG progress, this work presents the outcomes of semi-structured interviews with citizen science project coordinators. They reveal the complex nature of impact assessment within a citizen science context. Coordinators demonstrate greater confidence when the project is easier to relate to the SDGs, and the project methodology can objectively measure indicators. Issues exist, however, when considering SDGs with a broader, global context, those more difficult to link to project goals and when the project’s impact on them happens at timescales beyond the funding period. If the full potential of citizen-science contributions to the SDGs is to be realised, approaches are needed to fully consider practitioners’ needs and motivations. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen science; Sustainable Development Goals; semi-structured interviews; impact assessment citizen science; Sustainable Development Goals; semi-structured interviews; impact assessment
  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Link: http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4034135
    Description: Document S1: Guidance for empirical research to inform the design of the MICS toolbox and platform.
MDPI and ACS Style

Sprinks, J.; Woods, S.M.; Parkinson, S.; Wehn, U.; Joyce, H.; Ceccaroni, L.; Gharesifard, M. Coordinator Perceptions When Assessing the Impact of Citizen Science towards Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2377. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042377

AMA Style

Sprinks J, Woods SM, Parkinson S, Wehn U, Joyce H, Ceccaroni L, Gharesifard M. Coordinator Perceptions When Assessing the Impact of Citizen Science towards Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability. 2021; 13(4):2377. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042377

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sprinks, James, Sasha M. Woods, Stephen Parkinson, Uta Wehn, Hannah Joyce, Luigi Ceccaroni, and Mohammad Gharesifard. 2021. "Coordinator Perceptions When Assessing the Impact of Citizen Science towards Sustainable Development Goals" Sustainability 13, no. 4: 2377. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042377

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