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Start: 01/03/2021
End:  28/02/2023

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STEP CHANGE: Infectious Disease Outbreak Preparedness
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The aim is to put the "hands-on" the citizen science or similar approaches such as participatory action research and «popular epidemiology» capitalizing previous experiences adopted in different types of disease outbreaks and in different contexts with a specific focus on COVID-19 pandemic.

Objective 1: To develop a taxonomy of existing and potential citizen science interventions fitted to different types of diseases and epidemiological behaviours,

Objective 2: Co-designing a citizen science strategy for infectious disease (ID) preparedness for Italy,

Objective 3: Foster the role of citizen science in support of institutional and scientific sectors in the management of ID outbreaks.

Infectious Disease Outbreak Preparedness

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.

This initiative is part of the Step Change project, which aims to explore how Citizen Science can make science more socially robust, inclusive and democratic. The project, coordinated by the University of Primorska, launched in March 2021 and funded under the H2020 programme, will implement 5 Citizen Science Initiatives in the fields of Health, Energy and Environment.

STEP CHANGE: Infectious Disease Outbreak Preparedness
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Start: 01/03/2021
End:  28/02/2023

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