Ask what decisions participants want to make through the DECISION-MAKING CANVAS
In a research study, many decisions are to be taken at different stages, ranging from the selection of the research topic, the type of data to be collected and how, and what to do with the results, to mention just a few key decisions. Often these decisions remain in the hands of researchers who make decisions based on their prior knowledge and experience. However, in a citizen science project where the participatory component is at the center of the process, involving citizens in the decision-making process is vitally important.
The Decision-Making Canvas is a tool that helps researchers to guide conversations with citizens around decision-making processes in science. The tool allows you to identify (1) at what stages of a research study do citizens want to be consulted to make decisions, (2) what decisions do they want to make and (3) how we can involve them to make these decisions. The tool is meant to be used during a co-creation workshop, which can be carried out in different stages of a research study, preferably starting at the onset of the project.
Let’s talk about governance!
Project:CitieS-Health Barcelona Pilot
Promoters:Ideas for Change
An online workshop was organized to start discussing with citizens participating in the Cities-Health Barcelona pilot about how they wanted to get engaged and what roles they wanted to take during the data collection campaign, the analysis phase and the dissemination of study results. The Decision-Making Canvas was used to guide the conversation.
To identify what decisions participants wanted to make in the study
To increase transparency in the research process
Prepare materials. The Decision Making Canvas is meant to be used during a workshop. Depending on whether the workshop is face-to-face or virtual, you will need to print the canvas or prepare an online version. In case it is online, remember to use a platform that allows collaborative edits of the canvas.
You can download the canvas for online workshops in the section below, Get the Toolbox.
Set up the meeting. Disseminate the event among your community and send invitations by email and social media channels. You can see an example of invitation letter in the section below, Get the Toolbox.
Explain how the first canvas works. The canvas comprises two main parts. In the first one, the canvas shows, in the horizontal axis, the main stages of a research study, namely selection of research topic, study design, data collection, analysis and dissemination of results. Participants are asked to mark the stages in which they would like to actively make decisions and write down which decisions they want to make.
Explain how the second canvas works. In the second canvas, the participants are invited to deepen into the decision-making process itself. How should it be organized? In what format? How long?
Participants fill in the canvas. You can ask participants to fill in the canvas or you can fill it while they are talking. Remember that the canvas is meant to trigger the conversation, but not to force them in one direction. Let participants express freely their concerns and ideas around governance
Analyse the outcomes and share them. As a result of this activity, you will have a better understanding on how your participants want to be involved in the different stages of the project. Don’t forget to share back the main insights of the activity! In our case, we summarized the results of the discussion in a piece of news that we shared with participants through newsletter and website. https://mailchi.mp/e337362315fd/gobernanza-investigacion
Get the toolbox!
We share with you some of the tools that can be useful to carry out this activity.
Decision Making Canvas (editable)
Decision Making Canvas (PDF)