Volunteers wanted – Research project into the effects of heatwaves on citizens in the Hague

For a research project conducted by The Hague University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the International Institute of Social Studies and the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa we are looking for volunteers to help with data collection in the Hague throughout the month of August.

Periods of tropical days and nights are getting longer and most importantly, this trend is accelerating faster than predicted by climate change models. Last year became a new record year in the Netherlands. For the first time a heatwave included five days in a row of temperatures above 35 degrees and for the first time temperatures hit 40 degrees. These long periods of extreme heat in urban areas offer a significant risk to human life. Yearly hundreds of people become sick and/or die due to the physical effects of heatwaves.

Our research project aims to try and understand what senior members (65+) of the community need during a heatwave to help them adapt and cope with the heat. As the number of tropical days increases and more heatwaves are expected it is important for local governments to understand what their citizens need. The most vulnerable to the effects of heat are (on average) those over the age of 75. The information collected will help us to provide concrete policy advice to The Hague municipality to help The Hague deal with the heat.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for people with local knowledge of The Hague, especially the Schilderswijk and Loosduinen and/or previous research and data collection experience to help us collect data. People who speak Dutch or a locally relevant language, such as Berber, Turkish, and (Moroccan) Arabic are especially welcome! Previous research experience is useful but not a necessity, experience in the community is just as important. What’s most important is that you’re willing to spend your free time conducting research aimed at helping others.

What will you be doing?

Together with members of the research team you will conduct surveys with the residents of the Schilderswijk and Loosduinen either door-to-door or in a public space. Conversational skills are a must. Prior to collecting data there will be a training session focussed on data collection skills.

When will the data be collected?

As we are looking at the effects of heatwaves, we are of course hoping we will be able to collect data during a heatwave. Whilst we have some idea of when this will happen, we can’t know for sure. For that reason, we are looking at the availability of volunteers throughout the month of August. Closer to the time we will be able to provide more concrete details on when data will be collected. The expectation is that we will be busy for at least a week.

Will I need to be available for the whole of August?

No! We are extremely grateful for whatever time you can spare. We would be grateful if you could spare a few mornings/afternoons/evenings in a single week to help. More is of course welcome. A day in the weekend is also possible.

What do you get out of it?

Firstly, you will help us understand the effects of heatwaves in the Hague and influence our recommendations to minimise the dangers of extreme heat in some of the warmest parts of the city! Secondly, you will receive training and gain experience in data collection and research skills. We will provide a formal letter of participation as evidence of these skills. Thirdly, your knowledge and experience will enrich the team increasing the usability of the findings. We’ll also bring the sunscreen!


Please use this link to sign-upOnce we have a better idea of how many people are interested, we will be able to provide more information on the logistics. If you have any questions or want to know anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact the team on a.r.longman@hhs.nl.
More information on the project can be found here.