Full abstract: The potential of Citizen Science for reducing vector-borne diseases and natural hazards in Uganda. By Mercy Gloria Ashepet
The potential of Citizen Science for reducing vector-borne diseases and natural hazards in Uganda.
Mercy Gloria Ashepet*, Royal Museum for Central Africa, KU Leuven
* on behalf of the DATRISSA consortium
Citizen science (CS) has emerged as a promising approach that can accelerate research by providing extensive real-time information. This is especially true for research domains that are faced with a scarcity of reliable data as is the case with natural hazards and vector-borne diseases. These continue to plunge the world but with more severe effects in low-income countries, particularly the Global South. As such, three Belgian collaborative projects (D-SiRE, ATRAP and HARISSA collectively referred to as DATRISSA) have employed the CS approach to not only collect data but also educate and empower communities in the remote regions of Central Africa. To maximize these efforts there is need to assess the impact and performance of the CS networks created by evaluating the (i) motivation of the citizen scientists, (ii) perception by policymakers and potential uptake, as well as (iii) spillover and network effects. In a nutshell, we aim at identifying performance indicators that can be used to assess (non-)success of the approach and hence drawing a CS framework for natural hazards and vector control in sub-Saharan Africa.