Capturing and communicating impact of citizen science for policy: A storytelling approach

Wehn, U., Ajates, R., Fraisl, D. ORCID:, Gharesifard, M., Gold, M., Hager, G. ORCID:, Oliver, J.L., See, L. ORCID:, et al. (2021). Capturing and communicating impact of citizen science for policy: A storytelling approach. Journal of Environmental Management 295 e113082. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113082.

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Project: An Ecosystem of Citizen Observatories for Environmental Monitoring (WeObserve, H2020 776740)


In response to the need for approaches to understand how citizen science is currently influencing environmental policy and associated decision making, we devised the Citizen Science Impact StoryTelling Approach (CSISTA). We iteratively designed instruments to be used as tools primarily for citizen science practitioners seeking to understand or communicate policy impacts. We then trialled the CSISTA and associated instruments on four exemplary citizen science initiatives, using different forms of inquiry and collaboration with respective initiative leaders. In this paper, we present CSISTA, with details of the steps for implementing inquiry and storytelling instruments. Additionally, we reflect on insights gained and challenges encountered implementing the approach. Overall, we found the versatility and structure of CSISTA as a process with multiple guiding instruments useful. We envision the approach being helpful, particularly with regards to: 1) gaining an understanding of a citizen science initiative's policy and decision-making impacts; 2) creating short policy impact stories to communicate such impacts to broader audiences; or 3) fulfilling both goals to understand and communicate policy impacts with a unified approach. We encourage others to explore, adapt, and improve the approach. Additionally, we hope that explorations of CSISTA will foster broader discussions on how to understand and strengthen interactions between citizen science practitioners, policy makers, and decision makers at large, whether at local, national, or international scales.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Impact assessment; Storytelling; Citizen science; Citizen observatories; Policy
Research Programs: Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA)
Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA) > Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability (NODES)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2021 07:51
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:34

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