The project Citizen Science for Reducing Exposure to Urban Air Pollution, which was awarded the GYA North-South Interdisciplinary Grant from 2019-2020, has issued its final report, outlining collaborative research, outreach activities and resulting publications (read the full report here).

GYA members Ibrahim Sidi Zakari (Abdou Moumouni University, Niger), Lisa Herzog (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) and Robert Lepenies (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany) brought together their expertise in statistics, philosophy and political science to investigate the potential of citizen science to advance air pollution-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Niger and Germany. The team explored different paths and applications of citizen science, conducted spin-off research as well as outreach in Europe and Africa.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several planned workshops on citizen science had to be postponed, while other events moved online. The team engaged Research Assistants to support data analysis and statistical modelling, and to develop interactive tools for assessing citizen sicence literacy and air pollution exposure awareness. Four publications (two planned) have resulted from the grant collaboration:

[1] Ibrahim Sidi Zakari. «Bridging data gap for understanding emerging issues in Niger: challenges and opportunities in the era of smart cities and smart villages». Proceedings of the 1st IEEE International Conference on Natural and Engineering Sciences for Sahel’s Sustainable Development-Impact of Big data application on society and environment. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 04-06 February 2020.

[2] Ibrahim Sidi Zakari. «Harnessing the potential of real-time data analysis and statistical modeling for  mapping exposure to air pollution». Advances and Applications in Statistics’ Journal. Volume 61, Number 2, 2020, pp. 169-181, 2020. 

Planned publications

[3] Robert Lepenies, Ibrahim Sidi Zakari. «Citizen Science for transformative air quality policy in Germany and Niger». Under review in Sustainability journal; special issue on Citizen Science Projects for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals.

[4] (to be finalized and submitted for review) Herzog, Lisa, and Robert Lepenies: “Citizen Science from the perspective of deliberative systems”, for special issue of Minerva.



About the GYA North-South Interdisciplinary Grant

This annual grant scheme was initiated in 2014, aiming to foster collaboration across the regional and disciplinary lines that often separate researchers and limit possibilities. Specifically, this scheme facilitates the development of small-scale, innovative, curiosity-driven, blue-sky, exploratory research pilots or prototypes that cross disciplinary boundaries and unite researchers in low to middle-income and high-income countries.
The North-South Interdisciplinary Grant is awarded annually, and is meant to provide seed money to enable GYA members to prepare a proof of concept, prototype, or pilot research project with a view to securing larger external funding.

Read more on current and past grant projects here:

2020-21: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Art

2019-20: Citizen Science for Reducing Exposure to Urban Air Pollution

2018-19: Digital Storytelling to Counter Language Endangerment

2017-18: Bio-Char for Food Security and Sustainable Ecosystem Services

2016-17: Ethics in environmental decision-making: From individual acts to global outcomes?

2015-16: Connecting Epigenetics and Natural Resources

2014-15: One-dimensional molecular current wires using tailored to‐the‐purpose chemistry