The relevance of Citizen Science (CS) projects has been recently highlighted in light of their potential contribution to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

West and Pateman (2017) investigated how CS approaches can contribute to the definition, monitoring, and implementation of SDGs at the target level. Fraisl et al. (2020) provided a more extensive analysis on the current link between SDGs and CS. Authors highlight those areas where CS already contributes to SDGs, where it has the potential to contribute, and where there is neither actual nor potential link between the two streams, across the different tiers of SDG targets and indicators. Fritz et al. (2019) presented a roadmap that outlines how CS can be integrated into the traditional SDGs reporting mechanisms. In order to do it, governments must know how non-traditional data provided by CS projects can be exploited for SDGs monitoring (Lammerhirt et al. 2018). Therefore, the main challenge is that CS initiatives act locally, while the United Nations develop SDG indicators at the global scale.

Members of the DEN research team are now working on the relationship between CS and SDGs within the IMPETUS project: a European-funded project promoting Citizen Science (CS) initiatives through innovative funding schemes. In particular, the focus is on the SDGs downscaling to enable the participatory role of sub-national governments, civil society, and other local stakeholders in monitoring and addressing SDG targets and indicators at the local level. This work in IMPETUS might serve as an input when developing policy recommendations on Citizen Science and behaviour change.

The first open call for Citizen Science projects in now open. CLICK HERE for more information.


By DEN – Design Entrepreneurship Institute


Fraisl, D., Campbell, J., See, L., Wehn, U., Wardlaw, J., Gold, M., Moorthy, I., Arias, R., Piera, J., Oliver, J.L., Masó, J. (2020). Mapping citizen science contributions to the UN sustainable development goals. Sustainability Science, 15: 1735-1751, DOI

Fritz, S., See, L., Carlson, T., Haklay, M., Oliver, J.L., Fraisl, D., Mondardini, R., Brocklehurst, M., Shanley, L.A., Schade, S., Wehn, U. (2019). Citizen science and the United Nations sustainable development goals. Nature Sustainability, 2(10): 922-930, DOI

Lämmerhirt, D., Gray, J.,Venturini, T., Meunier, A. (2018). Advancing Sustainability Together? Citizen-Generated Data and the Sustainable Development Goals. Available at SSRN: or

West S, Pateman R (2017) How could citizen science support the Sustainable Development Goals? Stockholm: SEI. Available from: