|The BINGO project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, under the Grant Agreement number 641739.|
BINGO aimed at ensuring an effective participation of the different end users, water managers and decision makers in its activities. The work developed required input from the local partners at the 6 research sites to ensure that research outcomes were suited to their needs. For this to happen, the targeted stakeholders needed to feel comfortable in sharing their experiences and to feel engaged in coproducing solutions together with the BINGO researchers. This engagement was prepared by inviting stakeholders to participate at face to face meetings, or workshops, which were designed as sequential meetings with specific agendas and targets to allow building connections and willingness to collaborate and co-produce relevant inputs all along the project. To be successful in this task, BINGO:
Because of this experience, BINGO can offer a set of tools designed to facilitate and ensure that researchers and end users/decision makers are able to cooperate in a positive manner, building shared awareness and knowledge, leading to high level research designed to give answers to the society needs.
This task intended to animate and sustain a CoP, engaging all partners (Wenger, 2009). The CoP enabled the mutual learning process based on shared awareness and knowledge and inspired more adequate approaches and solutions.
BINGO CoP´s experience was guided by a shared “CoP Roadmap” in the six research sites, organised in 6 face-to-face interactions:
BINGO CoP Roadmap
This CoP also functioned virtually as a web-based discussion e.platform (virtual multi-stakeholder platform established in Basecamp, one for each research site since the national language was chosen), with active participation from the end user partners. This e.platform was launched at national workshops at the 6 research sites and contributed to energise, strengthen and deepen the CoP network, cross-fertilisation learnings, and shared awareness and knowledge. Collaborative and active methodologies were used among researchers and end users, aiming at co-production of a shared repertoire of information, experiences, solutions and practices for a common understanding of levels of uncertainty of BINGO outcomes and how this may influence decision-making on mitigation actions.
Previous experiences of research initiatives that aimed to create interactions with end users, water managers and policy makers are often evaluated as limited in their potential for actionable exploitation. Participants usually claim of non-equal or just casual engagements and involvement. To change this pattern, BINGO focused on providing to researchers “back-office” information, tools and collaborative skills development opportunities (cross-learning moments) in order to enable them to improve making knowledge alliances. Based on this experience, BINGO produced guidelines designed to create, feed and enhance better “win-win” collaborations between researchers and the players in society that are in need of solutions derived from research.
BINGO promoted the meeting between researchers and the local partners by creating the possibility and the place where they could engage together and enable actionable research and action. The large panel of actors boosted trans-disciplinary insights about concerns, doubts, interests, difficulties and/or unexpected limitations to explore challenges or solutions. This information fed the research activity by focusing the needs and problems that were solved in BINGO. The Actionable Research Labs worked on complex problems/challenges and explored them, and provided the opportunity to respond to the needs of researchers and non-researchers placed in through open and clear communication between researchers and the society. The methodology is based on social labs principles and worked on the base of Design Thinking framework (Univ. Standford) and of “soft system methodologies” (Checkland & Poulter, 2006). These approaches are a process for problem-solving with the intent of an improved future result. The resultsfrom these labs fed the CoP network.
BINGO established a methodology and approach to ensure that the researchers and the local stakeholders will cooperate, building shared awareness and knowledge.
Communities of Practice were the result: a mutual learning setting where different people meet, ensure a common language and develop communication skills to establish productive relationships between researchers and non-researchers and create actionable research labs where complex problems can be addressed and developed to further actionable research solutions.
All of this work has led to a productive, cooperative and fun project, bringing together many people from different places, knowledge and backgrounds to reach the common project goal: a better future under climate change.