CAPACITY BUILDING TRAINING FOR CITIZEN SCIENTISTS
Youth Alliance for Environment (YAE) has been conducting a research on ‘Mapping and Assessing Pollution Stresses on Water Resources in Five Watersheds (Jhimruk, Middle Karnali, Rangun, Thuligaad, and Bogatan-Lagam Karnali: Seti Nadi) of Mid and Far western of Nepal’ with the support of USAID Paani Program. In this research, Citizen Scientists (CS) are the major stakeholders/actors in the field to operate field activities and collection of field data.
YAE with the objective to enhance the capacity of CS on the collection of field data during the mapping of water sources/springs through the appropriate technologies adopted by the study team and use of Mobile/Tab for the social data collection via KOBO Tool Box. The two-day training workshop on 15th and 16th of November was organized at Green Godavari Resort, Kailali for citizen scientists. It was focused to capacitate the CS and enabling them to understand the research, its objectives, instrumentation and various measurements related to the natural spring sources inventory, and household survey for the Water Poverty Index. The training sessions were facilitated by Mr. Sanot Adhikari, Dr. Sudeep Thakuri, Dr. Anup Gurung, Mr. Raju Chauhan, and Ms. Selina Nakarmi in the respective topics. Altogether 19 citizen scientists from five watersheds participated in the training.
The training sessions were broadly categorized into the theoretical section and practical section. In the theoretical session of Day I, Mr. Adhikari informed about the research project and the roles and responsibilities of CS in the research whereas, Dr. Thakuri highlighted upon the research objectives and mapping of water sources and its attributes. Besides that, he briefed on the measurement criteria and procedure for data collection for various attributes. Similarly, Ms. Nakarmi and Dr. Gurung presented on the water poverty, Water Poverty Index (WPI) and its components. For the easy collection of data, Kobo Tool Box was used and in the practical session, Mr. Raju Chauhan illustrated the procedure to operate the mobile application- Kobo App to all the trainees. Followed by theoretical session, trainees were trained to operate the mobile application in groups and input data in blank forms. For field practices, CS were taken to the nearby spring sources for demonstration.