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


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.


Link to centre authors: Hahn, Thomas
Publication info: 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