GARIBALDI Lucas Alejandro
Citizen science in developing countries: how to improve volunteer participation
REQUIER, FABRICE; ANDERSSON, GEORG ; ODDI, FACUNDO; GARIBALDI, LUCAS
FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
ECOLOGICAL SOC AMER
Año: 2020 vol. 18 p. 101 - 108
Citizen science is a powerful tool for connecting members of the public with research and for obtaining large amounts of data. However, it is far less commonly implemented in developing countries than in developed countries. We conducted a large-scale citizen-science program monitoring honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony losses in Argentina to examine how a national consortium composed of local coordinators and two different recruitment strategies influenced volunteer participation. These strategies consisted of online questionnaires and face-to-face interviews with beekeepers to record bee health issues. We found that use of both recruitment strategies was necessary because they reached different volunteer profiles and different locations, and therefore influenced the survey?s results. Furthermore, public participation increased when the number of local coordinators was higher, regardless of recruitment strategy. These findings could also apply to other developing countries, where lack of internet access for some potential volunteers, logistical constraints such as long distances, and poor infrastructure hamper implementing large-scale citizen-science programs.