Making sense framework and assessment of participatory strategies

Melanie Woods, Drew Hemment, Saskia Coulson, Michelle Scott

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

The project was designed to create collective and individual environmental awareness by harnessing the power of networks of people, knowledge and sensors. Its specific contribution has been to emphasise and support the move from collective awareness to collective action, by leading to better informed decision making practices and citizen empowerment through participation and interaction. This, in turn will lead towards change and transformation at community and individual levels. The project focuses on the core principles of openness, co-creation, empowerment and change making. These principles have informed the design and participatory processes of the pilot studies from the beginning all the way through to the end. Through the use of accessible open sensing technology, and open data and data awareness, the project has aimed to support collaboration and strategies for diverse dimensions of change. The pilots conducted as part of Making Sense have addressed a combination of environmental issues and focused on participatory sensing of environments. They have been conducted in three European cities: Amsterdam, Barcelona and Prishtina in Kosovo. The sensing technologies used are open source, such as the Smart Citizen Kit that exemplify our principle of openness. Making Sense has worked together with communities to create, interpret and make sense of sensor data to encourage awareness of local environments and empowerment towards change making. Enabling the active participation of communities and their collective practices is an intricate endeavour. Sensing technologies for citizens to monitor their surroundings themselves or together with others are indeed more accessible, cheaper and easy-to-use. But Making Sense started from the idea that the availability of technologies doesn’t by itself induce actual community building and empowerment, which instead requires putting in place sound participatory tools and strategies
Original languageEnglish
Publisher Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC)
Number of pages118
ISBN (Print)978-92-79-79335-6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2018

Publication series

NameJRC Technical Report
PublisherMaking Sense

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Citizen Science, Design, Social innovation, Environmental Monitoring, COMMUNITIES, Action research


Dive into the research topics of 'Making sense framework and assessment of participatory strategies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Citizen Sensing: A Toolkit

    Woods, M., Balestrini, M., Bejtullahu, S., Bocconi, S., Boerwinkel, G., Boonstra, M., Boschman, D-S., Camprodon, G., Coulson, S., Diez, T., Fazey, I., Hemment, D., van den Horn, C., Ilazi, T., Jansen-Dings, I., Kresin, F., McQuillan, D., Nascimento, S., Pareschi, E., Polvora, A., & 3 othersSalaj, R., Scott, M. & Seiz, G., 2018, Making Sense. 221 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    Open Access

Cite this