Citizen Science provides an opportunity of supplementing scientific research that is obtained through traditional research methods by involving regular people in the society to generate quality data. Consequently, citizen generated data (CGD) is now considered a powerful addition to information collected by governments and international agencies for the monitoring and evaluation of social environmental situations and for policy makers in decision making. A case in point is the use of the data to monitor and hence fulfil the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The reality of the importance of CGD was brought home through the active participation of the United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) members in the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) Conference in December 2017 held at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters, Gigiri Nairobi.
Following the University’s active participation at the UNEA and with the support of senior management, the University expressed interest in hosting Africa’s Citizen Science on campus. An announcement that USIU-Africa had been nominated to host the first African presence of Citizen Science was made at the 2017 UNEA closing plenary and subsequently the University hosted other global Citizen Science organizations at an event to launch Citizen Science Africa. Related resource here
Given the absence of any continental citizen science organization in Africa and following the announcement at the closing UNEA Plenary, USIU-A hosted a high level segment of UN Global Citizen Science delegation on Monday 4th December 2017 with a purpose of experience sharing and helping Africa to set up its own Citizen Science initiative. Among the March 2019, delegates were members of already existing associations of Europe (European Citizen Science Association), North America (Citizen Science Association), Australia (Australian Citizen Science Association) and Asia (Citizen Science Asia).
DISCLOSURE OF CONFLICT OF INTERESTS:
This registration does not pose any conflict of interest as membership to associations with similar aspirations and common vision is a practice across the world.
Citizen Science Africa Association Outlook
- Strengthening and supporting the Steering Team
- Working with USIU-A Legal Department to fast track the registration
- Collaborating with stakeholders to increase citizen activities locally and other African countries.
- Leveraging our (Hosting of Citizen Science Africa) proximity to UNEP Kenya offices to increase engagement”
Citizen Science Africa Association (CitSci Africa)
An interim committee consisting of interested stakeholders was selected to spearhead the formation of Citizen Science Africa Association (CitSci Africa) with USIU-A being awarded the honor of being the lead institution in the setting up of the association.
The Interim Committee consisting of interested stakeholders was selected to spearhead the formation of Citizen Science Africa (CitSci Africa) with USIU-A being awarded the honor of being the lead institution in the setting up of the association.
Selected Committee members included:
- Maina Muniafu – USIU-Africa (Co-Chair)
- Jimmy Macharia – USIU-Africa (Co-Chair)
- Edith Amuhaya – USIU-Africa (Secretary)
- Xavier Francis – University of Nottingham, UK
- Dick Omondi – Smart Development Foundation
- Jusper Ronoh – ex UNEP
- Faith Mutavi – ILRI
- Charles Mwangi – GLOBE Program Kenya
- Brian Waswala - Maasai Mara University, ex UNEP
- Max Musau - Jiwe Interactive, ex USIU-Africa
Envisioned Partners & Partnerships:
1. Individuals carrying out measurements that provide data for social, economic and environmental factors in society. These may be members of other global citizen science associations
2. NGO’s, CSO’s and Faith-based organizations that are directly involved in citizen science activities in Africa
3. Individuals holding traditional and indigenous knowledge (TIK) in Africa
4. Institutions (both public and private) that have data collection projects in Africa including Demographic Surveillance Surveys (DSS), Metrological etc
5. National based citizen science associations across the African continent