Exploring the Potential Influence of Citizen Science Water Monitoring Programs on Water Resources Management and Policy in the Global South

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2019-04-26

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Abstract

This study explores the potential of citizen science (CS) water monitoring programs to influence water policy and management in Global South countries. CS, the involvement of “non-science” community members in the research process, offers a broad range of benefits beyond science that include an increase in scientific literacy in its participants and in public involvement in decision-making. However, the majority of such studies on CS are seemingly based on cases in developed countries (Global North), with less focus being placed on developing countries (Global South). Given that platforms for community involvement in water resource decision-making tend to be less common in the Global South and that hydrological data in these countries are usually lacking, there is great incentive to explore the potential of using CS water monitoring programs in these regions as a tool towards community empowerment in decision-making. In this study, we set out to learn about CS initiatives in the Global South which aim to influence water resource management or policy through the process of community-involvement, and not exclusively through data-acquisition. We focused on five programs in different countries – India, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, and the Philippines – to study as exploratory, comparative case studies, analyzing major themes that emerged in order to better understand existing best practices, challenges, and barriers surrounding these programs. This study was undertaken on behalf of our client, the World Wildlife Fund - United Kingdom (WWF-UK).

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Sahay, Apoorva, and Jimena Perez-Viscasillas (2019). Exploring the Potential Influence of Citizen Science Water Monitoring Programs on Water Resources Management and Policy in the Global South. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18455.


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