Evaluating knowledge exchange in interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder research

Fazey, I. and Bunse, L. and Msika, J. and Pinke, M. and Preedy, K. and Evely, A.C. and Lambert, E. and Hastings, E. and Morris, S. and Reed, M.S. (2014) Evaluating knowledge exchange in interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder research. Global Environmental Change, 25 (1). pp. 204-220. ISSN 09593780 (ISSN)

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Interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder research is increasingly being promoted and implemented to enhance understanding of global environment change, identify holistic policy solutions, and assist implementation. These research activities are social processes aiming to enhance the exchange and translation of knowledge. Emphasis on the design and management of knowledge exchange is increasing, but learning about how to do this better is hampered by lack of conceptual development and appropriate methods to evaluate complex and multifaceted knowledge exchange processes. This paper therefore develops principles for the evaluation of knowledge exchange in interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder environmental change research. The paper is based on an analysis of 135 peer-reviewed evaluations of knowledge exchange from diverse disciplines. The results indicate strong relationships between the field of study (e.g. health care, environmental management), the way knowledge and knowledge exchange were conceptualised and implemented, the approach used for the evaluation, and the outcomes being evaluated. A typology of seven knowledge exchange evaluations is presented to guide discussions about the underlying assumptions of different approaches to knowledge exchange and its evaluation. Five principles for knowledge exchange evaluation are also identified: (i) design for multiple end users; (ii) be explicit about why a particular approach to knowledge exchange is expected to deliver its outcomes; (iii) evaluate diverse outcomes; (iv) use evaluations as part of the process of delivering knowledge exchange; and (v) use mixed methods to evaluate knowledge exchange. We conclude that a catch-all approach to evaluation is neither appropriate nor desirable. Instead, approaches that focus on understanding the underlying processes of knowledge exchange, assess the relative contribution of other factors in shaping outcomes in addition to knowledge exchange, and that involve multiple stakeholders in implementing evaluations, will be the most appropriate for evaluating knowledge exchange in interdisciplinary global environmental change research. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.12.012
Uncontrolled Keywords: Co-design, Co-management, Co-production, Interdisciplinary research, Knowledge transfer, Participatory research
Subjects: CAH13 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01-01 - architecture
CAH13 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01-02 - building
CAH13 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01-04 - planning (urban, rural and regional)
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Depositing User: Yasser Nawaz
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2016 14:48
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 13:31
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2025

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