The Use of Digital Platforms for Community-Based Monitoring
Environmental observing programs that are based on Indigenous and local knowledge increasingly use digital technologies. Digital platforms may improve data management in community-based monitoring (CBM) programs, but little is known about how their use translates into tangible results. Drawing on published literature and a survey of 18 platforms, we examine why and how digital platforms are used in CBM programs and illuminate potential challenges and opportunities. Digital platforms make it easy to collect, archive, and share CBM data, facilitate data use, and support understanding larger-scale environmental patterns through interlinking with other platforms. Digital platforms, however, also introduce new challenges, with implications for the sustainability of CBM programs and communities’ abilities to maintain control of their own data. We expect that increased data access and strengthened technical capacity will create further demand within many communities for ethically developed platforms that aid in both local and larger-scale decision-making.
Keywords: digital technology, data, Indigenous and local knowledge, environmental observing, citizen science
Authors: NOOR JOHNSON, MATTHEW L. DRUCKENMILLER, FINN DANIELSEN , AND PETER L. PULSIFER
Journal: BioScience, Special Section on Community-Based Monitoring, Volume 71, Issue 5, May 2021, Pages 452–466