Video tool

Type of tool: Workshop

Phase: Co-design


Co-design key aspects of the study

People involved:

~40 people


1.5 hour


Ideas for Change

The challenge

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.

For what issues citizens want to be consulted before decisions are taken?

The tool

The decision making canvas is a tool that helps reseachers 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.

Download the toolbox

We share with you some resources that can be useful to carry out this activity.

Decision Making Canvas - ready to print Decision Making Canvas (editable)

Discover the tool in action!

Read our case study of the CitieS-Health Barcelona Pilot and understand how this tool has been used in a real citizen science project.

Let’s talk about governance!

CitieS-Health Barcelona Pilot


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.
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 by downloading the tool in the section above.
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.