Abby Onencan, researcher in Environmental Crime at Erasmus School of Law, has won the 2022 EUR Open and Responsible Science Award in the category Societal Engagement. The project “ImProDiReT” has won the prize because the jury deemed it a wonderful example of comprehensive collaboration between researchers and non-academic stakeholders on an internationally relevant and urgent topic. The award was presented during a festive event on 17 November, to Onencan, Sjirk Meijer from the Resilience Advisors Network (RAN) and other project partners based in Ukraine, The Netherlands, Poland, and the United Kingdom.
The project “Improving disaster risk reduction in Transcarpathian region” (ImProDiReT) started in March 2018. In Onencan’s application letter to the Jury, she wrote: “The project aimed to improve risk governance within the Transcarpathian Communities in Ukraine, with a particular focus on the Solotvyno village. ImProDiReT collected risk assessment geodata to evaluate risks and support decision-making. To complement the geodata, there was need for an evaluation of community risk perceptions, and their level of preparedness and attachment to Solotvyno. We used the co-creation design approach to enhance community participation.” The community-based risk evaluation approach (CREA) was co-created with the Solotvyno Saltmine community in Ukraine and implemented by children aged ten to seventeen years, who engaged family members, neighbors and friends, with the support of English teachers from four schools. CREA is a six-pronged societal engagement approach, consisting of the six pillars scoping, community building, co-creation of CREA, data collection, action planning, and legacy.
The ImProDiReT project is praised by the jury for the comprehensive collaboration between researchers and non-academic stakeholders. Citizens and local institutions were involved in the research process at all levels: generation of the research question, data collection, and dissemination of the results. In addition, the project implements various open science practices (open data, open access, open materials) that further strengthen the quality, accountability, and trustworthiness of the output.
The project team will spend the €2500,- on redesigning CREA into an electronic manual for Solotvyno and other similar environs. “The Open and Responsible Science Award will be used by the project team and the four Ukrainian schools to design the manual in English and translate the manual into Ukrainian, Romanian, Hungarian and Russian (the four major languages spoken in Solotvyno)”, concludes Onencan in her letter.