Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014MI228B

Assessing Co-Creation of Knowledge Generation and Diffusion Approaches

Institute: Michigan
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $10,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $26,025

Principal Investigators: Stephen Gasteyer

Abstract: Problem: Water resources management always occurs in a social context involving multiple stakeholders. Stakeholders can have radically different perceptions of the problems and potential trade-offs associated with finding solutions because of dynamic social, economic, and political factors as well as biophysical complexities of water resources issues. This complex nature of water resource management and other related issues, such as global climate change, food production, and health care, is often referred to in the scientific community as “wicked.” Research on wicked-type problems suggests that a comprehensive knowledge system sustained by a boundary organization is essential however, better understanding and know-how is needed for guiding more effective co-creation of knowledge generation for practical applications and subsequently better diffusion of adaptation of what is learned. Methods: The full implementation of the co-creation methodology is a new evolving area of science. Two models (Natural Resources Working Group: NRWG and Water Working Group: WWG) will be evaluated for process and results. Conduct model working group telephone and/or face to face interviews with member organization representatives in the NRWG and WWG using an interview tool that used a concept mapping approach to assess: 1)the motivation for involvement in this group; 2)the causal model of what actions would lead to improved water quality and mitigation of water quality impairments; 3)goals in policy development to mitigate water quality impairments including whether there are key policies and policy changes that should be considered; 4)key developments in the effort to mitigate water quality impairments that they would see as problematic; 5)key indicators that should be used to indicate the impacts of actions to improve water quality. An analysis framework will use the "socio-ecological activity pyramid" (Morton, et al. 2010) was used to better understand the perspective of different group members regarding how to move from program development to outcomes. Objectives: (1)Continue to more effectively link knowledge with action, i.e., connecting knowledge generation and local applications by becoming an appropriately structured boundary organization. This objective has continued to mature over the past several years. IWR will not only serve as a critical link between the knowledge generated by the scientific community (i.e., entities at the University) and the user community, but will also serve to facilitate the co-creation of knowledge by working with the end users and the scientific community. (2)A newer operationalization objective is to integratively evolve 21st century IT capabilities for Managing Watersheds with Information Technology/GIS/Modeling Techniques. This involves a General Integration Framework for Watershed Management. A general internet-based integration framework for watershed management can be considered a problem oriented framework that contains data and methods for facilitating decision-making in a particular geographic region of a watershed. (3)Two projects, the NRWG and the WWG will be evaluated as potential models for use in implementing the co-creating process for facilitating management of natural resources and related problem solving.