The MIGRAWARE App as part of the Citizen Science approach of the MIGRAWARE project has been designed by the CoKnow Team to identify migration interest and intent, environmental factors and target’s location for migration intentions. The aim was to elicit stories of migration, including drivers for and responses to migration. The data generated with this App is used for research purposes and will help to evaluate the use of Citizen Science approaches in advancing the understanding of migration in West Africa.

Together with our partners at University of Cape Coast in Ghana and Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, in Nigeria we have tackled the following questions: Can a Citizen Science approach interactively engage citizens in science in both Ghana and Nigeria? Can it help to elicit drivers for and responses to migration using an app?

In online lectures and workshops with local hubs in Ghana and Nigeria, students of both universities were trained to use citizen science approaches in their respective countries. After an in-depth theoretical input on citizen science, students learned to use the MIGRAWARE App and conducted fieldwork in different rural and urban environments. Together with their supervisors, they managed to overcome technical issues, to help citizens download the app and generate relevant data for the study of West African migration research. Finally, they learned how to analyse the data using quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

With the design of the MIGRAWARE App and the practical field testing in Ghana and Nigeria, the CoKnow Team successfully supported the introduction of citizen science in West Africa. The results of the field work have shown that the citizen science approach has produced relevant research data on migration and, maybe even more important, engaged migrants with their own stories and perspectives in the scientific process, thus contributing to their empowerment.

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