Citizen Researchers are local people that have been living in the area for a long while. This enables them to understand how their area works and what local assets might be out there. Particularly assets that are ’homegrown’, small subtle assets created by local people for local people – often going on, under the radar. This local knowledge makes all of the difference – bringing credibility and meaningfulness to the project.
They have adopted a variety of approaches to both gathering their list of assets and more detailed information about each asset – but here are some of their methodologies:
- Going on a walk around their area, taking photographs and asking people they meet about local facilities, services & amenities they use
- Writing out an initial list of assets together and sending it to their local network to see what might be missing and rate what value they think the assets bring
- Visiting or ringing local asset leaders to gather details of their work and how they benefit local people
- Arranging to do some local conversations with people about which assets they think are important to their area (recording the information on their phones or taking down key points in note form or asking them to message their thought’s
- Online research.
Each assets information is then logged on a post in our NewsSocial circle, an online platform where the public can suggest assets too. Then these details are validated and transferred to their particular ward map on the YourMap website. The continued role of a Citizen Researcher will be to monitor & inform when a new local asset becomes apparent or when a present one changes or ends – we are also looking at how the public may add to this role too.