T6 Ecosystems was present at the Connect.Collaborate.Create. Bridging Communities for Participatory Research and Citizen Science 2023 last week: it has been a great occasion for meeting with colleagues working in the field of citizen science and participative research, and sharing updates and ideas for future endeavors. 

On October 19-21, the Connect.Collaborate.Create. Bridging Communities for Participatory Research and Citizen Science 2023 conference took place in Paris to bring together different European communities involved in creating and supporting participatory research and citizen science. The event was jointly organized by the European projects COESO and PRO-Ethics.

Together with the colleagues of ZSI and CNRS/Centre Internet et société, Antonella Passani, on behalf of T6 Ecosystems organized a workshop titled “Virtues and limits of current impact assessment methods: a new approach towards measuring change. The workshop was mixing the world cafè methodology with role playing, with the aim of asking participants to act as impact evaluators of three participatory projects.

As a starting, we introduced the ACTION and IMPETUS impact assessment methodology while the other colleagues presented the approaches used within their projects. Then, each participant was able to reflect on the single cases: they identified the most relevant impacts the projects could achieve and brainstormed on how they could be measured or described. Interesting discussions emerged on the difficulties in assessing impact while projects are still running or just ended as long-term effects of the activities become available only later on (sometimes years after the end of the projects), and the amount of work and collaboration from stakeholders to carry on an effective impact assessment

In conclusion, we got into an interesting discussion about the need to identify positive as well as negative impact, considering the different point of view of project stakeholders and “use” possible negative impacts as a stimulus for further improvement project activities and increase transparency in participatory practices.

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