Updated Apr 23, 2019

Short go mhm

Institute for Global Environmental Studies (IGES)

Mosquito Challenge Community Campaign: Kid Citizen Science to Combat Zika

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Russsanne Low

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Stage 3: Proof of Concept

Completed app testing and pilot by youth in 9 cities in Brazil and Peru, more than 4,000 habitats now reported to database by app users since June 2017.

Registered as a Non-Profit in United States.

Focus Areas:

Youth Engagement and Contribution, Agriculture Water Management, Citizen Participation and 3 MoreSEE ALL

Youth Engagement and Contribution, Agriculture Water Management, Citizen Participation, Health, Infectious & Vector Diseases and Prevention & VaccinationSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Brazil and Peru

Brazil and PeruSEE LESS

Key Partner
Countries Implemented In
Funds Raised to Date
Verified Funding


The cryptic breeding sites sought out by A. aegypti pose growing challenges for municipal surveillance programs. Highly adapted to human environments, they breed in and around homes and utilize small, hidden sources of water. The scale of surveillance needed to control A. aegypti is now beyond that of any municipality. Our innovation educates, builds awareness, fosters vigilance, and promotes elimination of mosquito breeding sites in homes and schools.



Kids to the rescue! Armed with a fun app and an understanding that they can make a real, continuing contribution to improving health outcomes for their families and in their own communities, kids are challenged to seek out the cryptic habitats of the mosquito vector responsible for transmitting Zika, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and other arboviruses. They use the app to locate, report, and eliminate breeding habitats of mosquito disease vectors.

Target Beneficiaries

Primary beneficiaries are the families and communities where kids, teachers and parents are using the app. Additional beneficiaries are public health departments, who can access open data via the cloud, and scientists who can use the fine grained data to improve models that are used to predict and prevent epidemic disease. Though partnership with UNEP Environment Live, we are part of a citizen science effort to constrain mosquito borne disease worldwide.

Mission and Vision

Our goal is to reduce and eliminate cases of mosquito vector borne disease in neighborhoods and communities wherever the app is adopted. Through interaction with a digital device, we also aim to reduce the digital divide and improve technological education of kid participants. The app promotes mosquito vector education, local surveillance, habitat decommissioning and destruction- the three tools we have to control vector borne diseases for which there is no vaccine.

Innovation Description

This initiative connects health education, environmental awareness, scientific discovery and community-based action in a citizen science effort with direct benefits to NASA science and public health decision-making. Using the GLOBE Observer app, citizen scientists collect and share mosquito data and then use the data to develop a local mitigation strategy that reduces the risk of disease in their communities.
The mobile app is free for download at app stores. We disseminate knowledge of the app through schools and youth serving organizations. Any youth with access to a mobile device can use the app to locate and report mosquito breeding sites, determine if the mosquito is a vector species, and report when they decommission or remove a breeding site from use by mosquitoes. The data can be collected by users when off line. The data is held in the app until wifi is available, then data is uploaded to the cloud. The current version of the app is optimized for adult citizen scientists. On the basis of our pilot, we recognize the tremendous potential of optimizing the app for use by youth, with external incentives through gamification, leader boards, and occasional challenges. In recognition of the critical role youth play in family economics, we seek to partner with cell service providers so that youth can earn minutes for their families when doing vector control actions.

Competitive Advantage

A mobile app provides a crowdsourced solution to fulfill the need for increased mosquito surveillance and for raising awareness of vector mosquito habitats and disease. Adults are very busy, but what if we created a culture change, and kids saw vector surveillance and breeding site elimination as a youth opportunity and responsibility, and were motivated to participate because they have access to a mobile device and a gamified app? There are many local initiatives that promote home vector breeding site elimination in South America, but many citizens consider this a job of their municipality. Our model builds on the genuine desire youth have to contribute to their communities, as well as the fascination and novelty mobile apps have for today's youth. Kids can provide the worldwide vector surveillance army we need to reduce and eliminate mosquito vector borne disease from communities.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We developed a mobile app for supporting citizens in reporting vector mosquito breeding sites, optimized for adults use. We seek funding to gamify our app and create a kid optimized fun and friendly interface, with badges, competitions, leaderboards and incentives to find, report and decommission breeding sites, prototyped on a companion website. Our goal: educate and empower kids to improve health outcomes in their communities.
Funding Goal1,700,000
New Implemented CountriesTogo, Vietnam
Recruitgamification team (2-3), advisors (business model for sustainability not profit)
New Featurenow optimized for Aedes aegypti/albopictus, future versioning: disease specific version for malaria


Oct 2016
Funds RaisedVERIFIED
Oct 2016