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Global Mapping of Citizen Science Projects for Disaster Risk Reduction

Hicks, Anna; Barclay, Jenni; Chilvers, Jason; Armijos, M. Teresa; Oven, Katie; Simmons, Peter; Haklay, Muki

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Anna Hicks

Jenni Barclay

Jason Chilvers

M. Teresa Armijos

Katie Oven

Peter Simmons

Muki Haklay


Citizen science for disaster risk reduction (DRR) holds huge promise and has demonstrated success in advancing scientific knowledge, providing early warning of hazards, and contributed to the assessment and management of impacts. While many existing studies focus on the performance of specific citizen science examples, this paper goes beyond this approach to present a systematic global mapping of citizen science used for DRR in order to draw out broader insights across diverse methods, initiatives, hazards and country contexts. The systematic mapping analyzed a total of 106 cases of citizen science applied to DRR across all continents. Unlike many existing reviews of citizen science initiatives, relevance to the disaster risk context led us to ‘open up’ our mapping to a broader definition of what might constitute citizen science, including participatory research and narrative-based approaches. By taking a wider view of citizen science and opening up to other disciplinary practices as valid ways of knowing risks and hazards, we also capture these alternative examples and discuss their relevance for aiding effective decision-making around risk reduction. Based on this analysis we draw out lessons for future research and practice of citizen science for DRR including the need to: build interconnections between disparate citizen science methods and practitioners; address multi-dimensionality within and across hazard cycles; and develop principles and frameworks for evaluating citizen science initiatives that not only ensure scientific competence but also attend to questions of equity, responsibility and the empowerment of those most vulnerable to disaster risk.


Hicks, A., Barclay, J., Chilvers, J., Armijos, M. T., Oven, K., Simmons, P., & Haklay, M. (2019). Global Mapping of Citizen Science Projects for Disaster Risk Reduction. Frontiers in Earth Science, 7,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 19, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 18, 2019
Publication Date Sep 18, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 8, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 8, 2019
Journal Frontiers in Earth Science
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7


Published Journal Article (1.8 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
© 2019 Hicks, Barclay, Chilvers, Armijos, Oven, Simmons and Haklay.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums
is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited
and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted
academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not
comply with these terms.

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