Lessons learned about collaborative action research from ...€¦ · Lessons learnt Global workshop...

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LEI Wageningen UR P.O. Box 29703, 2502 LS The Hague, The Netherland Contact: [email protected] T + 31 (0)70 335 81 65 www.wageningenUR.nl/en/lei Figure 1. JOLISAA approach to joint learning: learning cycles around the main research phases (Source: van den Berg, et al., 2011) Concept development Innovation inventory Case assessment Lessons learnt Global workshop Global workshop Global workshop National workshops National workshops National workshops E- discussion E- discussion Local reflection sessions Local reflection sessions Photo 1 and 2. JOLISAA researchers learning about innovation with non-research stakeholders in Benin (Photos: Anne Floquet). Jolanda van den Berg, on behalf of JOLISAA research staff and all the people who have collaborated with JOLISAA Lessons learned about collaborative action research from the JOLISAA project Background The EU funded multi-partner project Joint Learning about Innovation Systems in African Agriculture (JOLISAA), which operated in 2010-2013, opted for a collaborative research approach. The project intended to create a learning environment, in which researchers and innovation stakeholders were stimulated to learn together about recent and on- going innovation processes in Benin, Kenya and South Africa (Figure 1). Conclusion JOLISAA researchers were focused on content-wise learning, rather than organizing more intensive stakeholder interactions with the aim to jointly reflect on ways to enhancing local innovation in practice together with societal stakeholders. The challenge for future collaborative action research is to find ways to more effectively combine participatory research activities with reflexive action learning and capacity building that include non-researchers. Objective This study within JOLISAA meant to: To critically reflect upon the JOLISAA joint learning approach; To get insight in the actual roles/tasks that researchers and stake- holders fulfilled; and To identify strong and weak points of the JOLISAA learning approach, in creating social capital for local innovation. Results One approach, different learning aims in practice The country team in Benin aimed at creating a supportive national institutional and policy environment to enhance local innovations. The country team in Kenya team aimed at building national researchers’ capacities in innovation-oriented approaches. The country team in South Africa aimed at integrating different types of knowledge to formulate credible polcy recommendations. Researchers in the driving seat Researchers took the initiative, designed, planned and controlled the entire collaborative research process. The stakeholder participation in practice aimed to cross-check and to enrich the research findings. The researchers did not actively involve stakeholders in the analysis of research results. Challenges encountered Diverging views between research partners about what joint learning is about, and what it should achieve. Limited joint (field) research by the research partners and stake- holders to arrive at shared concepts, research- and learning methods. Limited time and financial resources available for: - Researcher-stakeholder interactions around individual innovation and learning processes. - North-South and South-South interactions. Weak and strong points JOLISAA researchers were strong in doing participatory research and organized consultation meetings around individual innovation processes and national multi-stakeholder workshops. However they did not carry out learning activities to improve local innovation processes in practice as this was not actively supported by the project, which emphasized content-wise (‘single loop’) learning, rather than reflexive action learning. Methods To generate in-depth knowledge on the experiences of the JOLISAA- researchers in the learning process, national teams were reflecting on their experiences through individual and group interviews. Additional interviews were held with team members, research collaborators and stakeholders from selected innovation cases assessed by JOLISAA. Timelines were constructed during these interviews according to perceived critical moments for learning together, and served to reflect on individual learning expectations, roles and tasks, learning practice and challenges experienced. References Berg, J. van den, Harms, B., Sellemna, N., Triomphe, B. and Vodouhe, D.S. (2011). JOLISAA approach to joint learning in agricultural innovation research: an interplay between knowledge building, networking and capacity building. JOLISAA Working Paper, Wageningen UR, The Netherlands. On behalf of Conny Almekinders, Bernard Bridier, Colletah Chitsike, Todd Crane, Anne Floquet, Rose Fagbemissi, Bette Harms, Henri Hocdé, Geoffrey Kamau, Violet Kirigua, Brigid Letty, Arno Maatman, Roch Mongbo, Teresia Ng’ang’a, Hlami Ngwenya, Nicoliene Oudwater, Gerrit Rootman, Nour-Eddine Sellamna, Joe Stevens, Rigobert Tossou, Bernard Triomphe, Simplice Davo Vodouhe, Ann Waters-Bayer and all the people who collaborated with JOLISAA.
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Transcript of Lessons learned about collaborative action research from ...€¦ · Lessons learnt Global workshop...

  • LEI Wageningen URP.O. Box 29703, 2502 LS The Hague, The NetherlandContact: [email protected] + 31 (0)70 335 81 65www.wageningenUR.nl/en/lei

    Figure 1. JOLISAA approach to joint learning: learning cycles around the main research phases (Source: van den Berg, et al., 2011)

    Concept development Innovationinventory Case assessment

    Lessonslearnt

    Globalworkshop

    Globalworkshop

    Globalworkshop

    Nationalworkshops

    Nationalworkshops

    Nationalworkshops

    E- discussion

    E- discussion

    Local reflectionsessions

    Local reflectionsessions

    Photo 1 and 2. JOLISAA researchers learning about innovation with non-research stakeholders in Benin (Photos: Anne Floquet).

    Jolanda van den Berg, on behalf of JOLISAA research staff and all the people who have collaborated with JOLISAA

    Lessons learned about collaborative action research from the JOLISAA project

    BackgroundThe EU funded multi-partner project Joint Learning about Innovation Systems in African Agriculture (JOLISAA), which operated in 2010-2013, opted for a collaborative research approach. The project intended to create a learning environment, in which researchers and innovation stakeholders were stimulated to learn together about recent and on-going innovation processes in Benin, Kenya and South Africa (Figure 1).

    Conclusion• JOLISAA researchers were focused on content-wise learning, rather

    than organizing more intensive stakeholder interactions with the aim tojointlyreflectonwaystoenhancinglocalinnovationinpracticetogether with societal stakeholders.

    • Thechallengeforfuturecollaborativeactionresearchistofind ways to more effectively combine participatory research activities withreflexiveactionlearningandcapacitybuildingthatinclude non-researchers.

    Objective• This study within JOLISAA meant to:• TocriticallyreflectupontheJOLISAAjointlearningapproach;• To get insight in the actual roles/tasks that researchers and stake-holdersfulfilled;and

    • To identify strong and weak points of the JOLISAA learning approach, in creating social capital for local innovation.

    ResultsOne approach, different learning aims in practice • The country team in Benin aimed at creating a supportive national

    institutional and policy environment to enhance local innovations.• The country team in Kenya team aimed at building national

    researchers’ capacities in innovation-oriented approaches.• The country team in South Africa aimed at integrating different types

    of knowledge to formulate credible polcy recommendations.Researchers in the driving seat• Researchers took the initiative, designed, planned and controlled the

    entire collaborative research process.• The stakeholder participation in practice aimed to cross-check and toenrichtheresearchfindings.

    • The researchers did not actively involve stakeholders in the analysis of research results.

    Challenges encountered• Diverging views between research partners about what joint learning

    is about, and what it should achieve.• Limitedjoint(field)researchbytheresearchpartnersandstake-

    holders to arrive at shared concepts, research- and learning methods.• Limitedtimeandfinancialresourcesavailablefor: - Researcher-stakeholder interactions around individual innovation

    and learning processes. - North-South and South-South interactions.Weak and strong points• JOLISAA researchers were strong in doing participatory research

    and organized consultation meetings around individual innovation processes and national multi-stakeholder workshops.

    • However they did not carry out learning activities to improve local innovation processes in practice as this was not actively supported by the project, which emphasized content-wise (‘single loop’) learning, ratherthanreflexiveactionlearning.Methods

    To generate in-depth knowledge on the experiences of the JOLISAA-researchersinthelearningprocess,nationalteamswerereflectingontheir experiences through individual and group interviews. Additional interviews were held with team members, research collaborators and stakeholders from selected innovation cases assessed by JOLISAA. Timelines were constructed during these interviews according to perceivedcriticalmomentsforlearningtogether,andservedtoreflecton individual learning expectations, roles and tasks, learning practice and challenges experienced.

    ReferencesBerg, J. van den, Harms, B., Sellemna, N., Triomphe, B. and Vodouhe, D.S. (2011). JOLISAA approach to joint learning in agricultural innovation research: an interplay between knowledge building, networking and capacity building. JOLISAA Working Paper, Wageningen UR, The Netherlands.

    On behalf ofConny Almekinders, Bernard Bridier, Colletah Chitsike, Todd Crane, Anne Floquet, Rose Fagbemissi, Bette Harms, Henri Hocdé, Geoffrey Kamau, Violet Kirigua, Brigid Letty, Arno Maatman, Roch Mongbo, Teresia Ng’ang’a, Hlami Ngwenya, Nicoliene Oudwater, Gerrit Rootman, Nour-Eddine Sellamna, Joe Stevens, Rigobert Tossou, Bernard Triomphe, Simplice Davo Vodouhe, Ann Waters-Bayer and all the people who collaborated with JOLISAA.