A Knowledge Co-production Process for Equitably Gathering Data

Knowledge co-production provides an approach to collect data in a participatory way that also benefits local communities.

Knowledge co-production is the “… collaborative process of bringing a plurality of knowledge sources and types together to address a defined problem and build an integrated or systems-oriented understanding of that problem for actionable outcomes” (Armitage, 2011, p. 440).

Knowledge co-production can provide a foundation to address common problems and uncertainty. The aim of knowledge co-production is not ‘more’ knowledge but new ways of defining, reflecting on and resolving challenges. There are various modes of knowledge co-production; some modes focus on researching solutions, some on empowerment, and some on navigating power differences (Chambers et al., 2021).

Knowledge Co-production Rationale

There is a growing urgency to address ‘wicked’ and complex social-ecological issues. Knowledge co-production holds significant promise for sustainability challenges. Knowledge co-production promotes a reciprocal relationship between knowledge creation and knowledge users. The current system is failing to practically address issues on the ground.

Decision-making is largely influenced by western scientific methods and top-down governance that excludes other forms of knowledge. A way forward that can bridge multiple users, stakeholders and rights holders is through knowledge co-production – knowledge co-production will allow for more ways of knowing to be seen as equal. As such, researchers and practitioners are gravitating towards knowledge co-production as a pathway forwards that incorporates participatory and transdisciplinary approaches for sustainability outcomes. To address these challenges, multiple groups of people with different forms of knowledge relative to governance issues need to be collaborate to successfully address social, political, ecological and behavioural uncertainty (Cash et al., 2006).



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Building Sustainable Communities: Information Gathering and Sharing Copyright © 2022 by Ryan Plummer; Amanda Smits; Samantha Witkowski; Bridget McGlynn; Derek Armitage; Ella-Kari Muhl; and Jodi Johnston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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