From our practical experiences and related discussions, we concluded that Citizen Science contributions have the highest chance to impact European policy, if they are well timed and carefully prepared in order to directly fit with the ongoing (or emerging) policy debates. Furthermore, we recognised that only a systemic approach for providing the supporting scientific and technical services has chances to succeed.
In order to meet these requirements, we initiated the development of a Citizen Science Platform as a customisable tool to be used to launch data collection campaigns (including citizen science contribution) to extend the evidence base for European policies.
The Citizen Science Platform is currently set-up in order to support an eight-step process:
- Analyze a policy question
- Assess relevance for information available on the web or for citizen science campaign
- Prepare the campaign
- Launch the campaign
- Process the citizens’ inputs
- Integrate with other data and data analytics – for interoperation with existing thematic systems
- Closing campaign
- Formulate policy options/recommendations
The developed technology will particularly address elements from step three onwards. It will be embedded into an overarching governance methodology.