University of Twente Student Theses


Knowledge co-production for climate change adaptation : the transnational case study of wave

Flogera, Z. (2018) Knowledge co-production for climate change adaptation : the transnational case study of wave.

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Abstract:The present thesis is a final graduation assignment of the Water Management and Engineering department of the University of Twente. Water management in Europe is acknowledged to be susceptible to climate change impacts and vulnerabilities. As a response, climate change adaptation has emerged as a process by which strategies to moderate, cope with and take advantage of the consequences of climatic events are enhanced, developed, and implemented. However, water management is inconceivable without the mobilization and integration of different types of knowledge – that is, without knowledge co-production practices. Escaping a marginal approach that associates knowledge only with data, information and skills, a broader term is used instead. The thesis defines knowledge as substance and relations. Respectively products of knowledge are substantive and relational knowledge outcomes. The European Commission funds and endorses knowledge co-production practices through transnational cooperation projects. However, the question to what extent do knowledge outcomes in transnational cooperation projects actually result from an interactive co-production process remains to be addressed. To answer the central question a working definition of knowledge co-production is used. Knowledge co-production is when active and equal agents co-create (new) substance and co-develop relationships to apply in their context. The research strategy uses a single case study to investigate what knowledge outcomes emerged and which are processes (i.e. causal mechanisms) that brought them into being. Building on the literature streams of knowledge co-production, social learning in natural resources management and transdisciplinary knowledge, causal mechanisms are; the project design, the interaction process and the participants. The next step is to develop a framework. The purpose of the framework is to assemble an approximation of causal mechanisms conditions that are sufficient or necessary for knowledge co-production in transnational cooperation projects. The study case selected is WAVE, a project for climate change adaptation whose main objective was to increase the value of water in countries of North West Europe. WAVE was launched in the previous programing period (2008-2013) of transnational cooperation projects. Data for the case study were collected through document analysis and interviews with participants from 5 European countries. The knowledge co-production outcomes of WAVE are five in total. Substantive knowledge co-production outcomes are a landscape-scale conservation scheme and a communication strategy for water uses in agriculture. The relational knowledge outcomes are frames, trust and networking. The next step is to investigate how project design, interaction processes and participant conditions can explain knowledge co-production outcomes. Results are generated with the method of process tracing, -a backwards reasoning method, whereby starting from the outcome, potential evidence of causation is tested for the causal mechanisms of the framework. For the causal mechanism of project design is concluded that; themes of the project coupled with the needs of participants (reasons for co-production) can confirm why knowledge outcomes occurred. Also, a relevant condition for project design is selection of partners who represent open and inclusive organizational cultures. The causal mechanism of interaction process demonstrates that representativeness is the most important condition that explains co-production. Furthermore, during interaction processes good communication and capturing the interests of partners can play a significant role in knowledge creation and development. In the end, the leadership style of participants is also a relevant condition that explains knowledge co-production. Finally, strategic recommendations to increase the added value from knowledge co-production in transnational cooperation projects are: i) including a joint measure in the project design ii) include more knowledge systems during the interaction process and iii) endorse participants to co-develop learning tools through teambuilding exercises. Overall knowledge co-production is a context-depended process which requires time investment to flourish. However, including and accepting different ways of knowing in water management can substantially improve the strategies for climate change adaptation
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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