Engagement and Social Impact in Tech-Based Citizen Science Initiatives for Achieving the SDGs: A Systematic Literature Review with a Perspective on Complex Thinking

Jorge Sanabria-Z, Berenice Alfaro-Ponce*, Omar Israel González Peña*, Hugo Terashima-Marín, José Carlos Ortiz-Bayliss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed significant achievements and technological advances in citizen science (CS) projects; nevertheless, significant global challenges are present. Proof of this is in the joint efforts of international organizations to achieve the 2030 SDG agenda in a complex environment. Thus, UNESCO has recognized CS as being among the initiatives that could bridge the Science, Technology, and Innovation gap as a substantial resource, given its power to bring the general public closer together. Although tech-based CS projects keep rising, there is limited knowledge about which type of projects might allow participants to develop higher-order complex thinking skills. To that end, this study describes a systematic literature review (SLR) and analysis of 49 CS projects over the last 5 years concerning the technology utilized, the level of citizen involvement, and the intended social impact. The results of the analysis evidenced: (a) broad implementation in Europe on issues of the built environment, disaster risk, and environmental and animal monitoring; (b) prevalence of helix configurations other than the triple, quadruple, and quintuple helix innovation models; (c) a focus on technological developments to improve living conditions in cities; (d) an opportunity to develop applied native technologies; (e) limited development of participants’ complex thinking, when constrained to low levels of involvement; and (f) an opportunity to develop native technologies and promote a higher level of citizen participation, leading to more significant impact whilst developing complex thinking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10978
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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