Responsible planning: Co-evaluation requires careful and appropriate timing on how to assess and value project processes and outcomes. Doing it in a participatory way adds additional complexity to the entire citizen science process. Responsible planning hence means carefully considering when in the research process to co-evaluate and how.
- Start as early as possible with the involvement of project participants in the co-evaluation process, but latest during the negotiation of the research questions of both the scientific endeavour and the co-evaluation, as well as the design of the methodology.
- Reflect on ethical aspects of co-evaluation with your participants early on and discuss potential ethical approaches to create awareness across participants. Adapt to the lengthy process of ethical approval by institutions.
- Respect the time constraints of participants and offer multiple opportunities for their engagement in co-evaluation, both in terms of timing and methods. Align co-evaluation with other planned project activities and try to make it an integral part of the whole citizen science process. Overall, factor in additional time for the co-evaluation process from the start.
- Enable participants to engage according to their needs and interests. Provide different engagement formats with respect to available time and resources and communicate clearly and in a simple manner what you want participants to report on. When working with young participants, make sure the engagement options are truly engaging (“fun”) to keep participants involved.
- Critically consider the timeframe of your project and make sure that the insights generated during the co-evaluation are communicated on a regular basis and are reflected in the overall management of the project.