Benefits and challenges of voluntary contribution to GEOSS

Heumesser C, Fritz S, Obersteiner M, Pearlman J, & Singh Khalsa SJ (2012). Benefits and challenges of voluntary contribution to GEOSS. Space Policy 28 (4): 244-252. DOI:10.1016/j.spacepol.2012.09.011.

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Abstract

The vision of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) is the achievement of societal benefits through voluntary contribution and sharing of data, metadata and products at no or minimum cost. Such undertakings, where contribution provides positive externalities, benefiting contributors and non-contributors alike, are often described as "social dilemmas," usually resulting in small levels of voluntary contribution. We investigate the benefits and challenges of voluntary contribution to GEOSS, surveying economic and game theoretic literature and examining how the concepts of social dilemmas apply to the provision of GEOSS. We conduct an exploratory survey among individuals involved in the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) to understand their perception of voluntarily contribution. Even though contribution to GEOSS was perceived as rather low, e.g. because of a perceived lack of funds, commitment or organization, survey respondents also perceived many (exclusive) benefits of contribution, e.g. networking, visibility for their work or collaborating with motivated individuals. To increase participation, respondents suggested increasing financial support and raising awareness of GEOSS. We conclude that communicating the efficacy of individuals' contributions, the personal benefits of contribution and strengthening of group identity and knowledge about fellow participants' work can constitute incentives for future voluntary contribution. This could be facilitated by an externally established institution providing a framework for cooperation, or by institutions, agreements or frameworks agreed upon by contributors themselves.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: GEOSS; Collective action; Social dilemmas; Game theory; Survey approach
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Bibliographic Reference: Space Policy; 28(4):244-252 (November 2012) (Published online 15 October 2012)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:46
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 12:31
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/9879

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