Great expectations? Reconciling the aspiration, outcome, and possibility of co-production


Co-production is an increasingly popular approach for environmental and sustainability research, but what is actually produced through its practice remains understudied. This paper reviews recent examples of co-produced research alongside current theorization on the topic. Focusing on the area of climate change adaptation, we find that co-produced climate change adaptation research appears to be improving knowledge use, among other positive outcomes, but a difference emerges between the range of outcomes reported in practice and the scope of ambition conceived through theory. This raises important questions about how the practice of knowledge co-production should be evaluated and, fundamentally, what we should expect to produce through co-production. We argue that understanding and reconciling the transformative potential of science-practice collaborations within the context of the incremental progress achieved through its current practice will catalyze a more integrated and actionable scholarship and practice.

Publication Type
Journal Article
Kripa Jagannathan, UC Berkeley
James C. Arnott
Carina Wyborn, WWF
Nicole Klenk, Toronto
Katharine J. Mach
Richard H. Moss
K. Dana Sjostrom
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

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