Tell us how to engage you! Asking stakeholders about their engagement preferences

Theme 5. Other
Session Name 5.12 Connecting polar research, policy and stakeholders across scales - examples from Europe and beyond
Presentation Type Oral
Author(s) Kristina Baer (Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Germany), Kirsi Latola (University of Oulu, Thule Institute, Finland), Annette Scheepstra (Arctic Centre, University of Groningen, Netherlands)
Abstract text

Within polar research the call for transdisciplinary approaches to research projects increases. Scientists of multiple disciplines and stakeholders are urged to jointly identify pressing issues that are of social and scientific relevance and to develop research programmes that are producing results of practical use.  The ideal set-up of these transdisciplinary projects is envisioned as an inclusive process, which brings all relevant actors together from the onset until the end. However, despite best intentions, project members often experience challenges in initially engaging actors and sustaining collaboration efforts. The question thus arises: Did we know how to engage possible project partners, when we reached out to them? In order to better understand stakeholders’ motivation for getting engaged in polar science projects, to learn what stages of a project they are interested in and what their preferred modes of engagement are, EU-PolarNet conducted a stakeholder survey. The results suggest that while most academic stakeholders are eager to participate from the problem definition to the dissemination of the final results, most non-academic stakeholders preferred interaction at stages, which involve the dissemination of results and putting these in use for informed decision-making. It thus appears important to differentiate between engagement preferences of different stakeholders.

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