Community-based approaches to reducing health inequities and fostering environmental justice through global youth-engaged citizen science

Abby C. King, Feyisayo A. Odunitan-Wayas, Moushumi Chaudhury, Maria Alejandra Rubio, Michael Baiocchi, Tracy Kolbe-Alexander, Felipe Montes, Ann Banchoff, Olga Lucia Sarmiento, Katarina Bälter, Erica Hinckson, Sebastien Chastin, Estelle V. Lambert, Silvia A. González, Ana María Guerra, Peter Gelius, Caroline Zha, Chethan Sarabu, Pooja A. Kakar, Praveena FernesLisa G. Rosas, Sandra J. Winter, Elizabeth McClain, Paul A. Gardiner, Our Voice Global Citizen Science Research Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
201 Downloads (Pure)


Growing socioeconomic and structural disparities within and between nations have created unprecedented health inequities that have been felt most keenly among the world's youth. While policy approaches can help to mitigate such inequities, they are often challenging to enact in under-resourced and marginalized communities. Community-engaged participatory action research provides an alternative or complementary means for addressing the physical and social environmental contexts that can impact health inequities. The purpose of this article is to describe the application of a particular form of technology-enabled participatory action research, called the Our Voice citizen science research model, with youth. An overview of 20 Our Voice studies occurring across five continents indicates that youth and young adults from varied backgrounds and with interests in diverse issues affecting their communities can participate successfully in multiple contributory research processes, including those representing the full scientific endeavor. These activities can, in turn, lead to changes in physical and social environments of relevance to health, wellbeing, and, at times, climate stabilization. The article ends with future directions for the advancement of this type of community-engaged citizen science among young people across the socioeconomic spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number892
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • adolescent
  • citizen science
  • community participation
  • health services research
  • humans
  • social environment
  • health inequities; community-based; citizen science; participatory research; youth; health promotion; health equity; digital health; built environment; environmental justice
  • health promotion
  • health inequities
  • health equity
  • youth
  • built environment
  • community-based
  • participatory research
  • digital health
  • environmental justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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