Kidwise research supports children’s active participation in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. The main hypothesis is that children have capacities to develop the skills needed to adapt, find innovative solutions, and protect themselves and their families. The Kidwise Research activities aim to answer two main research questions:
- What constitutes a child’s capacity for facing climate-change-related disasters?
- How does children's involvement in science support the structural and societal transformation in cities to reduce the impact of climate change and improve their well-being?
Considering that decisions taken by each individual affect the spatial pattern of a city, to decrease the vulnerability of future cities and societies, it is necessary to focus on the largest segment of the future population, today's children. In Kidwise research, children are competent actors with a social agency of their own. They are not only influenced by the social world. They also have the power to influence their social world. Children are a highly interactive group and able to succeed in recognising the collective good. Despite their true potential, children are considered passive victims with no role to play in communicating. Sharing their knowledge and perception about their neighbourhood will prove their capability to respond appropriately. The climate school strike triggered by one child also shows that children would like to participate in decision-making and processes and take roles in reducing the impacts of climate change. The project will start with seminars on the methods and topics, and we will discuss the application of methods for data collection with children. We will apply a qualitative GIS approach, including participatory mapping, to enable a connection between the macro-scale urban phenomenon and the micro-scale of the perceptions of the individual child. Finally, the children will produce an art exhibit to communicate their findings to a wide range of audiences.
Rising Water Safer Shores
’Rising water, safer shores’’ board game was co-designed by more than 60 children in India and the Netherlands on flooding and climate change adaptation for children aged 9-11. This activity demonstrates that educational materials prepared by children enable learning and that drawing is a universal language for children. It started in a school in Panju Island India in December 2019, where some of the children's drawings were incorporated into the board game. It continued in Enschede, the Netherlands, at an International School where the board game was tested and further co-designed with children incorporating the children's ideas and contributions. With the help of a board game, we engage children in climate-change-related disasters, particularly flooding. Situated on an estuarine island in India, the board game connects children of different backgrounds with current and future global challenges.
Children's geo-citizen science project for climate adaptive cities
The main research question is ‘How can children's geo-citizen science support the structural and societal transformation in cities to reduce the impact of climate change?
With the help of research methods knowledge, children will be able to build the project on their existing ideas, impressions, experiences, culture and ideals. Children will be involved as co-researchers gaining first-hand research experience instead of being mere data collectors. We will follow an organic framework that will be developed, adapted and improved throughout the process together with children. They will be part of every research step from the beginning till the end, i.e. collecting and analysing data, deciding and communicating actions that support the structural transformation in cities to reduce the impact of climate change.