I4C’s Dynamic Collaboration with Stakeholders
A large part of the Impetus4Change methodology is working with Stakeholders both on the local, regional, and European levels. As a result, I4C employs co-production principles to collaborate with stakeholders. This means that we emphasize an iterative and collaborative process that incorporates multiple perspectives to both define problems as well as create solutions for future usable climate services. This process extends from co-exploration into the other distinct but interconnected phases of co-design, and co-evaluation. In this piece, you will learn more about co-production principles and co-exploration. You will also understand I4C’s stakeholder mapping and selection process which is crucial at this project stage.
The co-production principle explained and how it’s used in I4C
In its first year, I4C has primarily focused on co-exploration, a consultative process aimed at building a shared understanding and gathering relevant information within the context of diverse realities. Recognizing the complexity of climate-related decisions and their impacts, the project has engaged new stakeholders and potential climate service users. This involved mapping and selecting individuals, groups, and organizations affected by or influencing climate decisions, prioritizing their involvement based on local context.
To collaborate with stakeholders, I4C follows the co-production principles. Knowledge co-production derives from participatory approaches to science which can be defined as “an iterative, interactive and collaborative process that brings together a plurality of knowledge sources to mutually define problems and develop usable products to address these problems” (Bojovic et al., 2021, p. 2). Co-production involves both the process of developing a climate service – which typically consists of distinct but interrelated co-exploration, co-design and co-evaluation phases – as well as the service/product that results.
The first year of the project has focused on co-exploration. Co-exploration is a consultative process, focusing on joint understanding and fact-finding. Recognising and addressing this complexity is why it is essential to involve a variety of knowledge sources to define problems and develop appropriate solutions. As a first step, I4C mapped and engaged new stakeholders and potential climate service users who may not been exposed to a similar service before. Mapping stakeholders and selecting users for climate services involves identifying individuals, groups, and organizations who make climate-related decisions or may be impacted by them and then prioritizing which of these individuals and groups to be involved in the co-production process. The stakeholder map and group of prioritized users is specific to the local context.
Framework for stakeholder mapping and user selection for climate services coproduction processes in I4C (Baulenas et al. 2023)
The stakeholder mapping and user selection approach in I4C follows the 6-step framework developed by Baulenas et al. 2023 which is showcased below:
- Step 1 – Why?: Define the high-level goals for the climate service based on user demand, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Step 2 – Where?: Determine where the climate service will focus, considering both the areas affected by climate change and where it can aid decision-making. Ensure alignment with local decision-making and societal impacts.
- Step 3 – Whom?: Identify potentially interested or affected stakeholders, representing different segments of society, such as policymakers, NGOs, and networks. Account for overlapping roles and responsibilities.
- Steps 4 and 5 – Engagement Levels: Decide the level of engagement for each stakeholder in the co-production process. Prioritize some as key users, while others may be informed about the service, considering factors like availability and willingness to participate.
- Step 6 – Iterate: Understand that the mapping and selection process is ongoing. Refine previous steps as the project evolves.
In conclusion, I4C’s approach to collaborating with stakeholders through co-production principles has laid the foundation for an iterative and collaborative process to develop practical climate services. Recognizing the intricacies of climate-related decision-making, the project has carefully identified and involved individuals, groups, and organizations relevant to the local context.
Furthermore, I4C’s work in the four demonstrator cities – Barcelona, Bergen, Paris, and Prague – offers a unique opportunity to explore and assess various mitigation strategies across urban areas with distinct characteristics. These cities face diverse climate challenges, and Impetu4Change seeks to evaluate mitigation strategies in these contexts to provide valuable insights for potential future applications in other urban areas.
Explore the next article to uncover the latest updates from the demonstrator cities!