Fostering collaboration for knowledge and action in disaster management in South Africa

Author(s): Sitas, N., B. Reyers, G. Cundill, H.E. Prozesky, J.L. Nel, K.J. Esler
In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 19: 94 – 102
Year: 2016
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Stewardship
Full reference: Sitas, N., B. Reyers, G. Cundill, H.E. Prozesky, J.L. Nel, K.J. Esler. 2016. Fostering collaboration for knowledge and action in disaster management in South Africa. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 19: 94 – 102

Summary

Engaging diverse stakeholders in collaborative processes to integrate environmental information into decision making is important, but challenging. It requires working at and across the boundaries between knowledge types — a complex milieu of different value systems, norms, and mental models — and multiple stakeholder-engagement processes which facilitate knowledge exchange and co-production. Using a qualitative, inductive approach, we analysed perceptions and outputs of a transdisciplinary project which aimed to generate new knowledge, awareness and action for ecosystem-based disaster management in South Africa. Several obstacles that could potentially undermine the project's objectives were identified, including: preconceived assumptions; entrenched disciplinary thinking; and confusing terminology. Enabling factors included efforts to ensure project co-creation and the use of knowledge brokers in promoting systems thinking that is grounded in practice.

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