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Evaluation Indicators to Improve Coproducing Climate Science

Monday, 30 January 2017

People who manage natural and cultural resources or those who make decisions about those resources are increasingly in need of usable climate change information. However, just producing more data is not always the best approach. Information that will be the most useful to managers and decision-makers needs to apply directly to their situation and be at relevant spatial and temporal scales. To address this need, some researchers have involved the end users of their research in a collaborative process - often called the "coproduction of knowledge," but also known as "actionable science," "stakeholder-driven science," "user-driven science," "knowledge exchange," or "transdisciplinary research."

Collaboratively produced science tends to be more accepted and applied because decision-makers not only better understand the process by which the research was developed, but they also feel a greater sense of ownership of that knowledge. A new paper, now out in Water, Climate, and Society under lead author Tamara Wall from the Desert Research Institute, synthesizes the social science theory of the coproduction of knowledge, the metics used to evaluate its use in several federal agencies, and insights from researchers and managers in order to develop a set of evaluation indicators to improve the process of coproduced climate science. In this paper, two case studies are used to test these indicators, and lessons learned about the process are shared.

This work was supported in part by the Southwest Climate Science Center (SW CSC).

To read the paper or learn more about the research project supported by the SW CSC, please see: