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Knowledge Synthesis

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Focused dialogue is the collaborative construction of powerful ideas. These ideas are essentially simple, generic and fundamental concepts which, once developed between people, can serve to build the shared understanding essential for effective communication and successful integration. Developing focused dialogue involves a number of discrete steps: 1. Identifying “the terms that will play a key […]
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This open-access book provides “practical guidance on how to conduct interdisciplinary research effectively with multi-member teams operating across departments and institutions.” Chapters are: Signposts for interdisciplinary travellers: introduction and some tips for reading this book Departure point: our approach to interdisciplinarity Planning the expedition: designing interdisciplinary research projects Making the expedition a success: managing interdisciplinary […]
Ten aspects of interdisciplinary research are covered, with the guides providing easy access to best practices for a) developing, reviewing, funding and evaluating proposals, b) supervising PhDs, as well as c) various aspects of research management. A link to a PDF file of each guide can be found on the following webpages: Short Guide to […]
A useful analytical framework for assessing knowledge co-production consists of the following elements: “typology of actor roles, research phases, objectives and forms of actor integration, and types of knowledge” (see figure below). The framework was used to analyse “what types of actors contributed what kind of knowledge in which research phase” in four transdisciplinary studies […]
The methods in the td-net toolbox for co-producing knowledge are useful for bringing together different perspectives on a problem, recognising that not only individuals but also social groups have different ways of thinking about issues. One method (soft systems methodology) covers the whole process, while the others cover specific aspects. The aim is to provide […]
Purpose: To provide those helping communities "identify and adopt more sustainable practices" with a range of on-line resources that support "social learning and constructive action in multi-stakeholder settings." Description: The resources are organised under the following categories: Social learning, including systems thinking, building networks and knowledge management; Planning, monitoring and evaluation (PM and E); Collaboration/engagement, including stakeholder mapping and analysis and working across cultures; Supporting change; Research, including participatory action research and managing integration; Sustainable development.
Metaphors help people “understand the unfamiliar” and “make someone realise they’ve only been looking at one side of a thing.” Metaphors assist in closing “the gap in people’s ability to grasp something, or speed up what they’re already on track to see.” Designing metaphors involves generating multiple possible comparisons to find those that work well. […]
Purpose: To provide an overview of multistakeholder partnership processes, along with 60 tools useful for key aspects of those processes. Description: Working with a range of people and organisations to tackle real-world problems and achieve change is the essence of multistakeholder partnerships. Multistakeholder partnerships coalesce around a shared problem, seek to involve all the key […]
Purpose: To define who stakeholders are and what engagement with them is likely to contribute to a particular research project. Description: Discusses who stakeholders in research are, as well as reasons for engaging stakeholders. The benefits of stakeholder engagement are then further examined according to the type of engagement.  Defining ‘stakeholders’ The handbook (Durham et […]
Purpose: To decide on the extent of the stakeholder engagement to be undertaken, taking into account relevant contextual factors. Description: What is meant by the extent of the engagement is outlined first, followed by issues to consider in deciding the extent. Context is one of these issues and is described in a separate section. Extent […]

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