American Univesity of Beirut

 Citizen Science

​​​​​​​​What is OCS?​

Open and Collaborative Science, or OCS, is the concept of pursuing science through research and activities that are based on the collaboration and participation of diverse actors. Hence, OCSDnet is a network composed of twelve researcher-practitioner teams from the "Global South", interested in understanding the role of openness and collaboration in science as a transformative tool for development thinking and practice. Among these teams​, effectively, NCC is the only Center in the MENA region to be participating in the Network.

One goal of the network is to nurture an interactive community of Open Science practitioners and leaders to learn together and contribute towards a pool of open knowledge on how networked collaboration could address local and global development challenges. The overarching question for OCSDNet is whether, and under what conditions, open and collaborative approaches could contribute to the effective application of research seeking to achieve development goals at multiple levels.

Goal and Key Objectives

Research Components (click the figure to view NCC's OCSDnet page!)

​Project Description

Through the "Towns and Maps" component of its Community Development - Baldati Bi'ati program, NCC has collaborated with more than 70 Lebanese towns and villages to date on creating geo-refereneced maps of their areas, documenting natural and cultural landmarks in these Green Maps and enlisting locals in the identification of the landmarks and in making sustainable plans for the development of their respective towns and villages.

This methodology has built trust between academic institutions and communities, which has made it more relevant to local communities to manage their natural resources. Following the success of this project, NCC decided to upgrade the maps by adding layers of information on water and air pollution in the search of appropriate solutions to increase economic and environmental benefits by employing the same participatory approach. In other terms, NCC would invite villagers to test their own water and air qualities, as well as train them to do so.

Project Methodology and Stages

1. First Meeting with Deir El Zahrani Citizens: Project Introduction Presentation.

​To initiate contact with villagers and recruit them into the project through a presentation about the demands and benefits of the project. Additionally, participants’ perception of water pollution problems and the ability to develop remedial environmental solutions was evaluated qualitatively.

2. Dummy Session for Water Quality Testing at NCC

3. Laboratory Preparations for Water Sample Collection

4. Water Sample Collection from 7 wells

A participatory approach was adopted during the selection of water testing locations, following the needs of the villagers.

5. Laboratory Preparations for Water Quality Measurements Workshop

6. Water Quality Measurements Workshop​

  • Villagers wer​e trained in the sampling and measurement of different water quality parameters following the figure below.​​

​Three water quality measurement workshops have been organized to date.

7. Water Quality Tests Repeated in Laboratory to Evaluate the Accuracy of the Data Generated and the Equipment Used

Produced Resources

Partners and Collaborators

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