VOICES (Views, opinions and ideas of citizens in Europe on science)✎
The overall aim of the VOICES project was to identify citizens’ ideas, preferences, values, needs and expectations with respect to research priorities for the theme ‘Urban Waste and Innovation’. Another important aim of the project was to yield valuable insight on methods and procedures for engaging citizen participation to help set the research agenda for Europe’s Responsible Research and Innovation framework.
One thousand European citizens from 27 EU countries participated in focus group discussions about the topic ‘waste as a resource’ using a structured VOICES methodology which spans training, implementation and analysis.
One misconception about VOICES could be that it was inviting citizens to identify problems in the waste management process and directly come up with new innovations in order to solve these problems. This may well be a by-product of the work of VOICES consultations, and it is true that the methodology involves participants identifying and prioritising solutions, but the ultimate objective was for citizens to identify ideas (not only those linked to existing problems) to feed into analysis and influence research priorities.
An important advantage of focus groups is that participants can respond to and build on the views expressed by the other participants. It is a method that provides opportunities to gain in-depth insight into experiences, values, wishes and concerns of participants and stimulates shared creative thinking.
28 partners from all over Europe
- For info on how the outcomes were implemented in the EU policies http://www.voicesforinnovation.eu/phase_9_new.html
- For info on how the outcomes were used by science centers to involve stakeholders locally http://www.voicesforinnovation.eu/phase_6_new.html
- VOICES focus groups - participants' perceptions and reactions, Città della Scienza, Napoli https://vimeo.com/67414092
- VOICES public event – Granada https://vimeo.com/88493031