Citizen science for sustainable development


Monitoring progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals requires a huge amount of data and this paper explores the potential for citizen science to help fill important data gaps.

A new study of citizen science data being used for SDG monitoring (and its potential) was published in Nature Sustainability  which grew out of a workshop held at IIASA from 3 to 5 October 2018.

Of the 17 goals set by the UN in 2015 (which includes 232 indicators), 88 require data that is not regularly collected, and 34 require data for which there is no international standard methodology for data collection. Of the remaining 104 indicators that do have regularly collected data, non-traditional data sources including citizen science could help increase the frequency or reduce costs.

Citizen science is already contributing to a few SDG indicators, but there is potential for much more,” says IIASA researcher Linda See, a study coauthor. The new article involved a large community of citizen science experts from around the world, and was led by Steffen Fritz, who leads the IIASA Center for Earth Observation and Citizen Science.

Citizen Science and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Fritz, Steffen; See, Linda; Carlson, Tyler; Haklay, Mordechai; Oliver, Jessica; Fraisl, Dilek; et al. Citizen Science and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Nature Sustainability. 2019; 2:Article 1063.
Access: Public
Record Identifier: csiro:EP196398
2019-10-18 | Publication type: Journal Article | DOI:

Anstee, Janet (Aquatic Remote Sensing Team Lead)