Virtual Access for participatory monitoring

Virtual access activities will offer open and free access support for the use of cost-effective technologies and web-based services to develop participatory monitoring projects that will enable users to conduct excellent research.

MINKE helps you to overcome potential barriers in participatory programmes

Technological barriers.

MINKE virtual access (VA) facilitates access to develop participatory monitoring without the need to have any technological skills,  providing virtual training when required. MINKE VA will allow any interested group to participate, even small non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or local civil organisations with very limited technological capacity.

Knowledge barriers.

MINKE VA provides the specific tools and services that enable any interested party to participate, without the need for any prior knowledge, thus increasing the completeness of the final datasets.

Community recruitment and engagement barriers.

There is an implicit community linked to any participatory monitoring programme. Building and maintaining this community requires a considerable effort, resources and expertise. MINKE VA offers the possibility to set up new participatory projects within a consolidated community, with the capability of reaching the required completeness in relatively short periods of time.

Objectives of the virtual access

  • To provide citizen observatories for researchers, research teams and civil organisations with coordinated free-of-charge virtual access to implement dedicated self-managed participatory monitoring projects of interest.
  • To build long-term collaborations among all the actors involved in the monitoring networks.
  • To promote the importance of large-scale monitoring of species of interest using participatory platforms.
  • To empower and interconnect local communities to address global environmental challenges.
  • To provide bridges of collaboration between academia and civil organisations.

Two types of MINKE virtual access

Two types of virtual access have been proposed for the initial MINKE community:

Virtual access to participatory monitoring networks based on low-cost sensor technologies and courses

This VA  will provide communities with support in their experimentation campaigns. This will be achieved by fostering the use of open hardware and software solutions, not only to provide physical access to a set of sensors (see TNA) but also to support users in the different steps of the experimentation process with courses and documentation in order to progressively build up a more reliable, valid source of environmental data from low cost sensors.

*Any potential user will have access to the documentation and courses and will be able to download sensor data directly from the sensors platform.

Virtual access to cloud-based services (citizen observatories) to develop new participatory biodiversity monitoring projects.

MINKE provides free access to the MINKA citizen observatory, a cloud-based service to create specific projects for the participatory monitoring of target species,biodiversity monitoring projects may require the highest completeness, so the most efficient way to obtain the data is through citizen science and the use of Citizen Observatories (CO).

Any potential user will be able to create his/her own account on the platform and set up and manage his/her own participatory projects.