Participatory action research and popular epidemiology have been adopted in different types of disease outbreaks that have hit and still hit diverse geographical regions, such as in Zika, Ebola, Avian flu, Swine flu, SARS/MERS, and COVID-19 flare-ups. These practices have shown a considerable potential to support public health practice.

STEP CHANGE will investigate how citizen science or similar approaches have been carried out, with a specific focus on COVID-19 pandemic. Building on this analysis, a taxonomy of both existing and potential citizen science interventions will be developed, tailored to different types of diseases and epidemiological behaviours.

Selected relevant initiatives will be analysed, and an on-site visit to the places where the initiatives have been conducted will take place. Based on the results collected, the strategy will sketch a proposal of how citizen science may be adopted and developed to increase the level of preparedness of Italy for possible future outbreaks.

Building on the taxonomy, the Citizen Science Initiative will co-design a citizen science strategy for infectious disease preparedness in Italy, in order to raise awareness on the role of citizen science as a relevant tool to be incorporated into institutional and scientific practices for a better management of infectious disease outbreaks.

Participate in the project

Do you want to take part in the project as a citizen scientist and join our Italian team? Do not hesitate to reach out to us and to send us a message via the form below. A member of our research team will get in touch with you.

    Supporting Institutions

    • Frascati Scienza
    • Vision Channel Africa
    • Pofdia Santé ASBL
    • Italian Geographical Society