Citizen participation and citizen science

Participation of citizens in health promotion programmes contributes to the effectiveness of the programmes and to the creation of supportive environments in health. Citizen science is defined as the general public engagement in scientific research activities. The more citizens or a community get involved in a programme and/or research activities, the chances that changes are realized will increase.

Moreover, in the field of public health, citizen science cannot only contribute to the building of support and capacity of a research project, but also contribute to health benefits of citizens themselves. Recent research has demonstrated that citizens through participation acquired a broader understanding of health and its determinants and knowledge about healthy life styles and took action to change their own health behaviour. In addition there was an increase in health literacy. Another study revealed that professionals have the opinion that the current level of participation is insufficient. In this project, a number of questions related to citizen participation and citizen science will be addressed in collaboration with (amongst others) Wageningen Environmental Research, RIVM and Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA).

For example:

  • Capacity of professionals to organize citizen participation.
  • The capacity of citizens to participate.
  • Representation of citizens.
  • Citizen knowledge versus professional knowledge.
  • Ethics of citizen participation and citizen science.
  • Feasibility of the topic for citizen participation or citizen science.
  • Managing expectations of citizens.
  • Methodological guidelines.