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Special Collection: SDGs and International Development Frameworks


Special Collection: Contributions of Citizen Science to the SDGs and International Development Frameworks

Issue Editors: Dilek Fraisl* 1, Linda See 1, Jillian Campbell 2, Herizo T. Andrianandrasana 3, Finn Danielsen 4 (* Corresponding editor)

Citizen Science: Theory and Practice is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal providing a central space for cross-disciplinary, scholarly exchanges aimed at advancing the field of citizen science by providing a venue for citizen science researchers and practitioners to share best practices in conceiving, developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining projects that facilitate public participation in scientific endeavors in any discipline.

Issue Overview:

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a series of global development targets adopted by all UN member states in 2015 to address the world’s most pressing societal, environmental, and economic challenges by 2030. The achievement of the 17 SDGs depends on the ability to accurately measure progress towards their 169 targets through timely, relevant, and reliable data. However, the agreed 231 indicators to monitor the SDGs are beyond the means and capacities of the producers and users of official statistics, including the National Statistical Offices (NSOs), line ministries, and UN agencies. Citizen science, in addition to other new sources of data, such as Earth Observation and mobile phone data, offers a novel solution to complement and enhance official statistics, while at the same time potentially mobilizing action and raising awareness for achievement of the SDGs. At the same time, citizen science has much to offer to other international agreements and frameworks, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, Paris Agreement, Aarhus Convention, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, New Urban Agenda, among others, covering both data and the transformative potential of citizen science.

This Special Collection aims to bring together papers that offer insights into the contributions of citizen science to the monitoring, implementation, and achievement of the SDGs as well as other international agreements and frameworks. Research has already been conducted in this field, but we are particularly interested in contributions critically analyzing the monitoring and implementation processes of such frameworks through the lens of citizen science data and impact. We would also welcome papers on aspects such as ethical considerations, how citizen science can play a role in the post-2030 agenda, and how citizen science can be used to translate science into community understanding, policy, and action for achieving the SDGs and international development goals, among other relevant topics.

Examples of topics may include, but not limited to:

  1. Demonstrating the contributions of citizen science to one or more SDGs, targets and indicators or other international development and policy frameworks
  2. Challenges and opportunities for the uptake of citizen data to monitor progress on one or more SDGs targets and indicators, and other international development and policy frameworks
  3. The transformative potential of citizen science for achievement of the SDGs and international development and policy frameworks
  4. Global, national, and local level analyses of gaps in SDG monitoring, or monitoring of other international development and policy frameworks linking this to citizen science 
  5. Practical aspects of supporting the SDGs and other international development and policy frameworks from existing citizen science projects 
  6. How to bridge the global SDG and other international development and policy frameworks with local level citizen science efforts
  7. City-based case studies of linking city strategies with community-based projects
  8. A critical analysis of the SDGs or other relevant international development and policy frameworks and where citizen science can support new developments
  9. Citizen science and the concept of “leaving noone behind”
  10. Critical analysis of the SDG processes or processes of other international development and policy frameworks linked to citizen science
  11. Ethical considerations in citizen science related to official monitoring processes, e.g., free labor and free monitoring, representation of diverse voices, inclusiveness, data ownership, etc.
  12. Looking beyond the post-2030 SDG agenda and what’s next in the adoption of citizen science in official statistics at a local, national, regional, and global level
  13. Designing, adapting, and implementing citizen science activities with the purpose of integration in assessments of development and policy frameworks 
  14. Citizen science as a way to translate science into community understanding, policy, and action for achieving the SDGs and international development goals

Article Types: 

In this special collection, we seek a range of papers including research papers, review and synthesis papers, case studies, essays, and method papers as described by Citizen Science: Theory and Practice. 

Contributions from the Global South and other underrepresented areas in the academic literature on Citizen Science are particularly welcome.


Call for abstracts: 17 March 2022

Closing date for abstracts: 30 April 2022

Notification of accepted abstracts: 30 May 2022

Invited paper submissions: 30 September 2022

Publication Date: Spring 2023

Logistics and Fees: 

All abstracts should be submitted to Dilek Fraisl by email:

All invited manuscripts should be submitted into the journal’s management systems for Citizen Science: Theory and Practice.

Please review in advance the journal’s scope, author guidelines, and information on publication fees (including options for requesting a fee waiver) at:

With any questions about this Special Collection, please contact Dilek Fraisl:

Issue Editor Affiliations:

1 Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability (NoDES) Research Group, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria

2 Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Montreal, Canada

3 Institute for Global Sustainable Development, School for Cross Faculty Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom

4 Nordic Foundation for Development and Ecology (NORDECO), Copenhagen, Denmark

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