The Need for Better Design of Research Projects with CSO Partners Prof. Marie Harder Sustainable Development: A Challenge for European Research Brussels May 27th 2009
Traditional ‘Research Project’ University CSO Design Of Project ? Implement research Analyse results Interpret results ? Disseminate To peers
The Underlying Problem… Traditional R&D Model implies researchers: are holders of knowledge... should lead non-research specialists are analytical have access to bodies of structured knowledge are masters of appropriate research tools best to understand the context of the research should dominate the funding for research
Which implies… Research should start with specialists, who can ‘pick up’ non-academic matters That all topics can be researched successfully from their R&D base platform That CSOs should usually be treated mostly as ‘Objects of Study’ That in some cases CSOs can help at specific points of research design and implementation
SD implies…different Points of View ! Research… Can it take into account the different points of view?
JOINT solutions! Joint Solutions??
HOW CAN WE MEASURE IMPACTS OF VALUESON SD PROJECT SUCCESS ? • Challenging Goal : unchartered territory • for academia AND community • Diverse Partners: mix of faith-based and secular CSOs, • scientists from several fields ,and a mediator: • Earth Charter Initiative • People’s Theater • Associations of Religions & Conservation • European Baha’i Business Forum • Arthur Dahl – retired UNEP Deputy-Director = mediator Sustainable Development: A Challenge for European Research Brussels May 27th 2009
Integration-Iteration-Multiplication Framework Uni- versity CSO INTEGRATION Revise information Revise information Revise information Agree scoping area Make decisions Make decisions Make decisions Agree joint project boundaries ITERATION Jointly agree new focus New CSOs MULTIPLICATION Revise information New Community of Interest Knowledge
Some Benefits! Community knowledge becomes accessible to researchers - previously unchartered The end result is directly and immediately useful Overall, a complex problem is now considered from a new (co-developed) point of view, and this new point of view is partly owned by society, and resides there as well as with researchers a new Community of Interest is formed Ready to move forward together has a shared vocabulary
Research Benefits! Healthy shifts can occur in the research approach developed: CSO involvement shifts the research away from any traditional academic base- new ground! CSO approach does not respect academic disciplinary boundaries, forcing different academics to work together – v. healthy! Instead of using established research tools, the CSO focus forces hybridisation of wide range; development of new ones – v. healthy!
Questions? Is the validity of CSO involvement established? Should (all) SD research incorporate SD processes – like participatory research?? Should CSOs receive funds for their time? Can CSO work be considered ‘research’ – are they not experts? Should researchers have an open chance to submit proposals in a wider SD context?