Doing science differently: introducing co-production

Aaron Burdon / Unsplash
18 September 2018

With environmental challenges becoming increasingly complex, conservation needs to balance trade-offs between different social, political, ecological and economic objectives, constituents and sectors. This requires drawing on diverse expertise and integrating the concerns of many stakeholders.

Approaches that involve collaboration between scientists and other stakeholders to produce knowledge that is useful for policy and practice are often referred to as ‘knowledge co-production.’ Co-production is being used in many fields including development, public health and urban planning, and is gaining traction in nature conservation. It builds legitimacy for action and a coalition of people who have ownership over knowledge and are more likely to act on it.

A new paper by the Luc Hoffmann Institute offers an introduction to co-production and explains why there is a growing demand for conservation science to be done differently. It shows how knowledge co-production can help address the complex challenges of 21st-century conservation and outlines a set of principles for using it.

“We’ve been using co-production approaches for the past three years, working with many other people and organisations. This paper is a culmination of our experience and a review of our partners’ work into what works and what doesn’t,” says Carina Wyborn, Research Adviser with the Luc Hoffmann Institute. “The growing demand for knowledge co-production in conservation reflects the growing evidence that interventions based on co-production lead to fairer, more effective and more lasting results in policy and practice.”

Read the synthesis paper Doing science differently: Co-producing conservation outcomes 

Opening up the black box of co-production: Blog post by Josie Chambers, postdoctoral researcher with the Luc Hoffmann Institute

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