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STAKE Practices and barriers of stakeholder interaction – challenges for research projects

Environmental and climate research projects often consider Stakeholder Interaction (SI) as highly important. However, it is not clearly spelled out how this interaction should be organized. If we seriously believe that science should play a vital role in policy making, then we also need to develop outreach strategies that are grounded both in the goals of specific research projects as well as in research on SI. The objectives of this one-year project are to 1) develop a conceptual model for SI in research processes, 2) identify barriers for SI, and 3) create procedures to facilitate researchers’ reflections and learning on SI.

To develop the conceptual model for SI in the knowledge production process, we divide it into framing, production and communication of knowledge, in which contextual, procedural and substantial (i.e. the scientific knowledge as such) factors are seen as important for the interface between science and policy. Three scientific perspectives are included. The political science perspective focuses on the institutional context and the interaction with policy-makers.

The environmental economics perspective focuses on a wider variety of stakeholders as agents that are affected by and carry out policies. The natural science perspective combining principles to synthesize knowledge within empirical sciences, integrated assessment modelling and risk analysis. The model will among other things build upon the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework to policy, practices in multi-criteria decision and a framework for evidence synthesis.

The model will be designed to identify important barriers and procedures for reflection and learning. Barriers of SI will be considered in relation to individual researchers, the institutional context, and the targeted stakeholders. Possible barriers include lack of multiple factors such as SI training, stated SI objectives, time, timing and motivation. The study will be based on case-studies of SI in three finalized (or close to finalized) research projects associated to the BECC research environment. We will conduct studies of disseminated papers and stakeholder reports from the selected projects, and questionnaires, interviews and active dialogue with researchers and stakeholders.

Contact: Ullrika Sahlin

Involved researchers: Åsa Knaggård, Juliana Dänhardt, Daniel Slunge, Anders Ekbom