WeObserve Communities of Practice Mid Term Progress Report
|Title||WeObserve Communities of Practice Mid Term Progress Report|
|Description||One of the key objectives of WeObserve is to assess the current CO knowledge base and strengthen it to tackle future environmental challenges using CO-driven science. WeObserve Task T2.2 has launched four Communities of Practice (CoPs) as a key mechanism for consolidating the knowledge inside as well as beyond the WeObserve consortium. The key role of the CoPs is to serve as the vehicle for sharing information and knowledge on selected key thematic topics related to COs, strengthening the knowledge base about COs in order to move citizen science into the mainstream of environmental management and decision making.The first three WeObserve CoPs were set up and launched during workshops at the ECSA conference 2018, on 6 June in Geneva (immediately following the main ECSA conference). The fourth CoP was launched at a dedicated session at the conference ‘Citizen Observatories for Water Management’ on 29 November 2018.
This report presents the current status of the WeObserve CoPs, reporting on their launch events, respective thematic focus, work plans and progress to date. The report also takes stock of lessons learned from running these CoPs and how the WeObserve has responded to challenges related to CoP members’ fluxes in participation.
All four WeObserve CoPs have formed stable groups of practitioners, with a clear focus on their respective themes, but the overarching aim of the WeObserve CoPs to consolidate knowledge dispersed across various stakeholders is not completely met and will require additional efforts to engage different stakeholder types.
A continuous discussion in the CoPs from their launch workshops in Geneva (June 2018) till the Forum in Venice (November 2018) has related to the definition of terms in general and the distinction of Citizen Science and Citizen Observatories in particular. At Forum #2, consensus was reached across CoPs on definitions of these key fundamental concepts. All four CoPs have contributed to creating this understanding of fundamental concepts and key terms. Moreover, the common glossary of terms the CoPs have produced is already a useful contribution to the wider community of CO and CS practitioners. As there is no ECSA glossary of terms, the WeObserve glossary presents a sound starting point and ECSA provides a perspective for maintaining this beyond the lifetime of the WeObserve project.
Several lessons have been learned regarding the set up and management of the CoPs, namely the careful preferential focus on small tasks, the joint production of scientific articles and usefulness of regular F2F meetings of the respective CoPs as means for ensuring the continued participation of the CoP participants. Resource constraints have affected the outreach activities of the different CoPs, hence limiting the wider dissemination of their results somewhat.
|Author(s)||Uta Wehn (IHE Delft), Joan Maso (CREAF), Ester Prat (CREAF), Dilek Fraisl (IIASA), Cath Cotton (IHE Delft)|
|Keywords||Citizen Observatories; Citizen Science; Communities of Practice; CoPs|
|Audience||Citizen Observatories actors; Citizens and local communities (those that are already engaged or are interested in setting up a CO); NGOs and activists (civil society); Policy makers – at the local, national and international (EU) level; Research/academia; Similar projects at local and EU level; Networks (e.g. ECSA and COST Action)|
|Resource-Type||Project Deliverable – Text|
|Resource Theme||Reflections on science|
|Publisher||IHE Delft | H2020 WeObserve project, Grant Agreement no 776740|
|Publication date||30 March 2020|