Harnessing Citizen Science to Tackle Mosquito-Borne Diseases: Towards a locally based, yet Global Platform
This technical workshop, in collaboration with the European Citizen Science Association and with support by the United Nations Environment Programme, will demonstrate the potential of leveraging observations from the public to address pertinent public health issues such as mosquito-borne illness. Currently, there are multiple projects worldwide that engage the public in the scientific process of learning about mosquito biodiversity or monitoring mosquitoes that carry certain diseases. These projects are executed at different invasion-stages and different scenarios of epidemiological risk based on their country of origin. Some projects are aimed at functioning as an early warning system by anticipating invasive and disease vector species arrival. While other projects have demonstrated success at real-time vector management (surveillance and control) based on citizen-supplied information in areas with actual epidemiological risk.
Based on these successful projects the goal of this technical workshop is to explore the creation of a global common methodology, leveraging observations from the public and validations from virtual experts, for monitoring mosquito vectors that carry diseases like Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika and Malaria. This initiative will prioritize strategies for tracking these vector species globally, ideally using real time approaches that could be easily scaled, involve the public, have a central data repository for dissemination like the United Nations Environment Program data portal – UNEP live and leverage existing digital infrastructure from various citizen science monitoring programs.
The technical details to be addressed are twofold:
(1) resolving problems, prioritizing, and highlighting areas of agreement in the crosswalk of the existing project protocols, methods and tools and
(2) data platform infrastructure & interoperability issues.
The inputs to the workshop:
(1) topical experts in vector monitoring, citizen science, public health and big data
(2) existing crosswalk of mosquito monitoring projects and identified areas for discussion.
The outputs to the workshop:
(1) written vision & commitment statement from attendees
(2) agreed upon prioritization scheme, a common method and ideal digital infrastructure
(3) outreach plan
(4) identified funding opportunities.
Details & Cursory Agenda
April 3rd & 4th
United Nations Office, Geneva, Switzerland
Monday April 3rd
Morning - Introductions, presentations of preliminary research on project commonalities
Afternoon - Break out groups to workshop project differences
Tuesday April 4th
Morning - Funding, technical infrastructure and interoperability, dissemination/outreach
Afternoon - Written agreement and vision for common methodology
Preliminary Survey Research
An initial survey will be distributed to existing project leads to identify common themes among existing projects. A summary of this research, including best parameters for global monitoring platforms, will be freely available for distribution on this website along with physical copies for distribution during the workshop.
Question & Comments:
Regarding content, research & coordination -- Please email Elizabeth [dot] Tyson [at] wilsoncenter [dot] org