The Ground Truth 2.0 approach combined the social dimensions of citizen observatories with enabling technologies.

1. Social dimensions: co-designing citizen observatories

A range of social interaction mechanisms provided the basis for co-designing and co-creating citizen observatories. The iterative co-design process of the citizen observatories consisted of interactive sessions, taking into account not only local stakeholders but also governance goals, cultures, customs and languages. Multiple feedback loops allowed for periodic modifications and enhancements to the observatories. Concretely, the following activities were undertaken:

  • Stakeholder analysis of the demonstration cases
  • Identification of incentives and barriers for stakeholders to participate in observatories
  • Design and implementation of citizen engagement strategies
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the social and economic impacts
  • Development of guidelines and future recommendations

2. Enabling technologies: customization, deployment and upscaling

For each demonstration case, a technological architecture was designed and set up, depending on the stakeholder engagement strategy and available resources. Ground Truth 2.0 drew on a number of existing, well-tested mobile apps, visualisation and software components, provided by the different technical consortium partners. Real-time data from the various sources was aggregated and integrated smoothly. Besides the explicit data provided directly by citizens, implicit data was gathered via social media analytics. Ground Truth 2.0 also provided an innovative, web-based service (Land Use Mapper) for worldwide mapping and updating of land-use.

3. Business development

Ground Truth 2.0 developed a strong business case for the sustainability of the demonstration cases, resulting in business models for the 6 demo cases and for citizen observatories in general. Activities included an end-user analysis, market analysis, SWOT analysis, sales and pricing strategy, awareness strategy and a feasibility study. Ground Truth 2.0 defined key indicators to measure the success of the exploitation activities. For each demonstration case, conclusions, recommendations and actions identified to grow the business were made, resulting in a roadmap and rollout plan for exploitation activities beyond the end of the project.

4. Communication & dissemination

Ground Truth 2.0 effectively communicated and disseminated information about the activities, progress and results to the widest possible range of key stakeholders in Africa and Europe. It raised awareness of the project and increased the level of engagement and exploitation of results among target audiences in Europe and internationally; ensured the sustainability of the six Citizen Observatories beyond the lifetime of the project by providing communication and engagement tools to promote their activities to society and policy makers; and enhanced the understanding of regional authorities of the Ground Truth 2.0 technologies, demonstration results, methods and guidelines by providing them with access and training.