How Collective Learning can Promote the Uptake and Use of Climate Research
Collective learning is key for transdisciplinary research programmes. The role of collective learning in strengthening relationships, building trust and fostering social cohesion is vital for building a common ground in programmes that include researchers and stakeholders from various disciplines, sectors, and backgrounds. Collective learning needs to be incorporated into programme design to promote best practice strategies for international and multidisciplinary teams. In-person facilitation plays a significant role in learning and fostering collaboration, trust building, and increasing stakeholder capacities. Expert facilitation plays a large role in both cross- and intra-consortia learning. This role should be considered during the design of programmes to ensure researchers or practitioners who have the skill set for facilitation are included. Should this skill set be absent from a programme, this may present an opportunity to develop the skill sets and build the capacity of local partners to carry out effective facilitation. While collective learning may be carried out through deliberate practice, programme design and funding should also be flexible to support emerging collective learning processes. This could include allocating funds and human resources to support ad-hoc learning activities and events. Collective learning also contributes to the ability of a programme to improve the use of climate information in decision-making spaces. Engagement with stakeholders is important to produce research which is tailored to local climate information needs. Including stakeholders in collective learning processes is critical to build a common understanding between researchers, practitioners and decision-makers. Close linkages can be drawn between approaches to improve the use of climate information and the building blocks of co-producing climate services. Programmes should utilise both of these to guide collective learning processes as well as decide how programmes should attempt to influence the use of climate information in decision-making. Ongoing recording is needed to understand the impact of collective learning in a learning-centered climate and development programming. Collective learning outcomes should therefore be included in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning strategies for programmes, with dedicated human resources allocated to this.