Significant completed projects are listed below. (Information about current projects is also available).
- Detailed description of Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S);
- Testing the i2S framework;
- Proof-of-concept project for the i2S Development Drive, around compiling dialogue methods; and,
- Collaboration with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center on "Building resources for complex, action-oriented team science"
- Building resources for i2S - original project
- Building research integration and implementation expertise.
Other completed projects are grouped by the three domains of i2S and predominantly focus on publications produced in those projects:
- Synthesising disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge;
- Understanding and managing diverse unknowns; and,
- Providing integrated research support for policy and practice change.
i2S has also been active in supporting the development of organisations and networks with overlapping aims, especially:
- Building a network of leaders in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary organisations
- Population health Xchange
1. Detailed description of Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S)
Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) is described in the book Disciplining Interdisciplinarity: Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems published in January 2013 by ANU E-Press.
This book helps collaborative research teams address complex real-world problems like widespread poverty, global climate change, organised crime, and escalating health care costs. It provides a systematic approach to:
- Synthesising disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge;
- Understanding and managing diverse unknowns; and,
- Providing integrated research support for policy and practice change.
Each of these three domains is organized around five questions:
- For what and for whom?
- Which knowledge, unknowns and aspects of policy or practice?
This simple framework lays the foundations for developing compilations of concepts, methods and case studies about applying systems thinking, scoping and boundary setting, framing, dealing with values, harnessing and managing differences, undertaking dialogue, building models, applying common metrics, accepting unknowns, advocacy, engagement with policy and practice, understanding authorization, dealing with organizational facilitators and barriers, and much more.
The book makes a case for a new research style (integrative applied research) and a new discipline (Integration and Implementation Sciences or i2S) and advocates for progressing these through an i2S Development Drive. It builds on theory and practice-based research in multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinarity, post-normal science, systemic intervention, integrated assessment, sustainability science, team science, mode 2, action research and other approaches.
The book concludes with 24 commentaries by Simon Bronitt; L. David Brown; Marcel Bursztyn and Maria Beatriz Maury (read their commentary in its original Portugese (PDF 75KB)) Lawrence Cram; Ian Elsum; Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski; Fasihuddin; Howard Gadlin and L. Michelle Bennett; Budi Haryanto; Julie Thompson Klein; Ted Lefroy; Catherine Lyall; M. Duane Nellis; Linda Neuhauser, Deborah O’Connell with Damien Farine, Michael O’Connor and Michael Dunlop; Michael O’Rourke; Christian Pohl; Merritt Polk; Alison Ritter; Alice Roughley; Michael Smithson; Daniel Walker; Michael Wesley; Glenn Withers. These begin a process of appraisal, discussion and debate across diverse networks.
This project was funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.
The Collaboration Lab programme (PDF 823KB), which is part of the New Zealand Our Land and Water National Science Challenge, tested the usefulness of the i2S framework in writing up a number of case studies. It found that the i2S framework helps researchers and stakeholders identify and articulate critical aspects of the research process in building a more comprehensive understanding of the problem and in taking effective action. The Collaboration Lab also provided training in using the i2S framework to other programmes in the Challenge.
This project resulted in the following publication: Robson-Williams, M.; Small, B.; Robson-Williams, R. (2020) Designing transdisciplinary projects for collaborative policy-making: The Integration and Implementation Sciences framework as a tool for reflection. GAIA 29 (3), 2020, 170-175 https://doi.org/10.14512/gaia.29.3.7
3. Proof-of-concept project for the i2S Development Drive: Compiling dialogue methods
As the report of the dialogue methods project (PDF 300KB) describes, we started by reviewing the literature and in 2009 published a compilation of dialogue methods (McDonald, D., Bammer, G., Deane P. 2009. Research Integration Using Dialogue Methods, ANU E-Press). Subsequently (2010-2011) we assessed the feasibility of using an on-line forum to increase the number of methods and cases in the compilation. This project was funded by the Drug Policy Modelling Program and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.
4. Collaboration with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center on "Building resources for complex, action-oriented team science."
SESYNC is the US National Science Foundation-funded National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at the University of Maryland and is located in Annapolis, USA. SESYNC funds projects, called pursuits, that fit into a theme relevant to socio-environmental synthesis. SESYNC funded a theme "Building Resources for Complex, Action-Oriented Team Science" led by Professor Gabriele Bammer which was the home for three pursuits:
Members of each pursuit met 3-4 times between 2015 and 2018. Several publications will result from each pursuit. A major activity of the theme was the development of the Integration and Implementation Insights blog, with pursuit members playing a major role in establishing the blog. Additional information is available on how the theme was established.
One activity arising from the Co-Creative Capacity pursuit was examining the role of co-creation in Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) which lead to the following publication in a special issue of the journal Evidence and Policy arising from : Bammer, G. 2019 ‘Key issues in co-creation with stakeholders when research problems are complex’ Evidence and Policy. (Online): https://doi.org/10.1332/174426419X15532579188099.
5. Building resources for i2S - original project
This original repository of resources was on this website and consisted of :
- tools (concepts and methods) for (i) synthesising knowledge across disciplines and stakeholders, (ii) understanding and managing diverse unknowns and (iii) providing research support for policy and practice change
- approaches, which are different ways of tackling complex real world problems, including interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, systems thinking, action research and more
- journals where new tools can be published
- professional associations and networks where like-minded researchers can band together
- conferences for exchanging ideas and expanding networks.
New resources were added regularly between 2002 and 2021 and publicised bi-monthly in i2S News.
Many tools were updated and moved to the Integration and Implementation Insights blog and repository (https://i2Insights.org) to provide one rich consolidated repository. Tools that were duplicates of those available on i2Insights or the i2S Talks YouTube channel were removed. Tools that were superseded were archived.
Journals, professional associations and networks, and conferences were relocated to the website of the ITD-Alliance (https://itd-alliance.org/). These resources are available at https://itd-alliance.org/resources/.
6. Building research integration and implementation expertise
Expertise in research integration and implementation is an essential but often overlooked component of tackling complex societal and environmental problems. This research:
- examined tasks essential to developing a more comprehensive understanding of complex problems, and for taking action on them by using that research evidence to support government policy, community practice, business innovation, or other initiatives. Specific elements include managing lack of clear problem limits, contested problem definitions, unresolvable unknowns, and real-world constraints on action, all of which make solutions partial and temporary.
- explored where expertise in research integration and implementation can currently be found, especially in: 1) specific approaches, including interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, systems thinking, action research, and sustainability science; 2) case-based experience, independent of these specific approaches; and 3) research considering unknowns and fostering innovation. Currently fragmentation precludes clear identification of research integration and implementation expertise.
- explored whether and how a knowledge bank could be a conduit to building expertise.
This project was developed by a core group of plenary speakers from the 2013 First Global Conference on Research Integration and Implementation and produced the following paper:
Bammer, G., O’Rourke, M., O’Connell, D., Neuhauser, L., Midgley, G., Klein, J.T., Grigg, N.J., Gadlin, H., Elsum, I.R., Bursztyn, M., Fulton, E.A., Pohl, C., Smithson, M., Vilsmaier, U., Bergmann, M., Jaeger, J., Merkx, F., Vienni Baptista, B., Burgman, M.A., Walker, D.H., Young, J., Bradbury, H., Crawford, L., Haryanto, B., Pachanee, C., Polk, M., Richardson, G.P. 2020 ‘Expertise in research integration and implementation for tackling complex problems: when is it needed, where can it be found and how can it be strengthened?’ Palgrave Communications 6, 5. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-019-0380-0 and https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-019-0380-0
This paper provides the foundation for a special article collection in the journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communications (formerly Palgrave Communications): https://www.nature.com/collections/ahbhdghcda
7. Synthesising disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge (publications arising from completed projects)
McDonald, D., Bammer, G., Deane P. 2009. Research Integration Using Dialogue Methods, ANU E-Press. This book is available free online. Its development was funded by Land & Water Australia and the Drug Policy Modelling Program.
Moore D., Dray A., Green R., Hudson S.L., Jenkinson R., Siokou C., Perez P., Bammer G., Maher L., Dietze, P. (2009). Extending drug ethno-epidemiology using agent-based modelling. Addiction, 104: 1991-1997. This collaborative project was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
8. Understanding and managing diverse unknowns (publications arising from completed projects and pilot project)
Bammer, G. (ed). 2010. Dealing with Uncertainties in Policing Serious Crime, ANU E-Press. This book is available free on-line. This project was funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.
Bammer, G. and Smithson, M. (eds). 2008. Uncertainty and Risk: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, London: Earthscan. This project was funded by Drug Policy Modelling Program.
Pilot project: Improving understanding of unknown unknowns to support defence decision making
Adverse unintended consequences and nasty surprises are two potentially devastating outcomes of not understanding and/or managing critical uncertainties, unknowns and ignorance. Particularly challenging is making decisions in the face of what we don’t know we don’t know (unknown unknowns).
This project aimed to:
- support decision making on complex problems in defence by building a more solid and comprehensive understanding of unknown unknowns
- stimulate synergies and fresh thinking about unknown unknowns by building connection, capacity and capability among researchers interested in such unknowns in defence-related and other areas.
The first stage of the project involved identifying potential participants with diverse, relevant perspectives on unknown unknowns. Potential participants also contributed their perspectives to i2Insights.
Subsequent stages (not funded) would have involved:
- A discovery-based dialogue process, developed to bring together experts with diverse disciplinary, professional and practice perspectives on topics where they have previously had little interaction. This process has been successfully used in previous projects on unknowns, change, dealing with uncertainty in policing serious crime, and knowledge brokering.
- Integration of the diverse perspectives, by expert synthesisers in defence, as well as in research on unknowns and cross-disciplinary, problem-based investigations.
Similar projects were proposed to investigate other aspects of unknowns including:
- communicating unknowns
- addressing unknowns through and in modelling
- culturally diverse (non-western) approaches to unknowns
- understanding and managing ignored unknowns arising in cross-disciplinary, problem-based investigations.
This project was a collaboration with Jane Holloway and Sharon Boswell, Joint and Operations Analysis Division at Defence Science and Technology, Department of Defence.
9. Providing integrated research support for policy and practice change (publications arising from completed projects)
Bammer, G. (ed) (2015). Change! Combining analytic approaches with street wisdom. ANU Press. This book is available free online. This project was funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security. Eighteen disciplinary experts and practitioners participated, covering advertising, advocacy, anthropology, art, conservation-restoration, demography, economics, education, evolutionary biology, industry, international relations, organisational change, philosophy, politics, psychiatry, security-related intelligence, sociology, and sustainability science.
Bammer, G., with Michaux, A., and A. Sanson (eds). (2010). Bridging the ‘Know-Do’ Gap: Knowledge brokering to improve child wellbeing. ANU E-Press. This book is available free on-line. This book arose from a collaboration with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth and the Benevolent Society.
Bammer, G.; Strazdins, L.; McDonald, D.; Berry, H.; Ritter, A.; Deane, P.; van Kerkhoff, L. (2010). ‘Expanding the deliberations about the research-policy gap: useful lessons from the literature’ In Bammer, G., with Michaux, A., and A. Sanson (eds) Bridging the ‘Know-Do’ Gap: Knowledge brokering to improve child wellbeing. ANU E-Press, 135- 155; (available on-line (PDF 271KB)).
Ritter, A. and Bammer, G. (2010). 'Models of policy making and their relevance for drug research'. Drug and Alcohol Review, 29: 352-357. This project was funded by Drug Policy Modelling Program.
Bammer, G.; Ritter, A.; Deane, P.; Strazdins, L.; McDonald, D.; Berry, H.; van Kerkhoff, L. (2007). Improving research support for environmental policy making: lessons from the literature and issues for debate (PDF 112KB). Unpublished report prepared for the Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS) project.
10. Building a network of leaders in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary organisations
i2S was key in initiating the building of networks of leaders in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research organisations in order to:
- Foster interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and education within and across organisations
- Inspire and support researchers to achieve transformational impact on global challenges by:
- Creating supportive environments and infrastructure
- Developing effective metrics for excellence, impact and return on investment
- Improving funding availability and outcomes
- Supporting next generation organisational leaders
- Providing effective career paths and role models for interdisciplinarians and transdisciplinarians at all levels, and especially to support early-career researchers
- Developing workable transition pathways to implementation of new metrics and effective career paths.
There is now an active Oceania region network, the Network for Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Research Organisations (NITRO) - Oceania; see http://nitro-oceania.net.
NITRO-Oceania arose from a global network: see https://nitro-oceania.net/global-network/. This produced a report and two academic papers:
Palmer, L. (2018) Meeting the leadership challenges for interdisciplinary environmental research. Nature Sustainability, 1, 330-333. (Online): https://rdcu.be/234H.
Gordon, I.J., Bawa, K., Bammer, G., Boone, C., Dunne, J., Hart, D., Hellmann, J., Miller, A., New, M., Ometto, J., Pickett, S., Wendorf, G., Agrawal, A., Bertsch, P., Campbell, C.D., Dodd, P., Janetos, A., Mallee, H., Taylor K. 2019 ‘Forging future organizational leaders for sustainability science’ Nature Sustainability 2: 647-649; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-019-0357-4.
Boone, C.G., Pickett, S.T.A, Bammer, G., Bawa, K., Dunne, J.A., Gordon, I.J., Hart, D., Hellmann, J., Miller, A., New, M., Ometto, J.P., Taylor K., Wendorf, G., Agrawal, A., Bertsch, P., Campbell, C., Dodd, P., Janetos, A., Mallee, H. 2020 ‘Preparing interdisciplinary leadership for a sustainable future.’ Sustainability Science Online First http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11625-020-00823-9
The Population Health Xchange (PHXchange) at the Australian National University’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health provides resources for fostering partnership and knowledge co-production among researchers and diverse stakeholders in order to achieve better health outcomes through evidence-informed policy and practice change.
When PHXchange was originally developed, the tools on the i2S website and i2Insights blog and repository provided the key resources.
There is an active partnership between the PHXchange and Integration and Implementation Insights, with blog posts regularly contributed by PHXchange members.