Process and contextual factors supporting action-oriented learning: A thematic synthesis of empirical literature in natural resource management

Author(s): Monika Suškevičs, M., Hahn, T., Rodela, R.
In: Society & Natural Resources 32, 2019 - Issue 7
Year: 2019
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Stewardship, Transformations
Link to centre authors: Hahn, Thomas
Full reference: Monika Suškevičs, M., Hahn, T., Rodela, R. 2019. Process and Contextual Factors Supporting Action-Oriented Learning: A thematic synthesis of empirical literature in natural resource management. Society & Natural Resources 32, 2019 - Issue 7

Summary

Despite a long-term focus on learning in natural resource management (NRM), it is still debated how learning supports sustainable real-world NRM practices. We offer a qualitative in-depth synthesis of selected scientific empirical literature (N = 53), which explores factors affecting action-oriented learning. We inductively identify eight key process-based and contextual factors discussed in this literature. Three patterns emerge from our results. First, the literature discusses both facilitated participation and self-organized collaboration as dialogical spaces, which bridge interests and support constructive conflict management. Second, the literature suggests practice-based dialogs as those best able to facilitate action and puts a strong emphasis on experimentation. Finally, not emphasized in existing reviews and syntheses, we found multiple evidence about certain contextual factors affecting learning, including social-ecological crises, complexity, and power structures. Our review also points at important knowledge gaps, which can be used to advance the current research agenda about learning and NRM.

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