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The Challenge of Transdisciplinary Research: A Case Study of Learning by Evaluation for Sustainable Transport Infrastructures

Axelsson, Robert and Ljung, Magnus and Blicharska, Malgorzata and Frisk, Michael and Henningsson, Marianne and Mikusinski, Grzegorz and Folkeson, Lennart and Goransson, Gorgen and Jonsson-Ekstrom, Sofia and Sjolund, Anders and Skoog, Jan and Törnblom, Johan and Angelstam, Per (2020). The Challenge of Transdisciplinary Research: A Case Study of Learning by Evaluation for Sustainable Transport Infrastructures. Sustainability. 12 , 6995
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Abstract

While transdisciplinary (TD) research is desired in order to solve real world sustainability issues, this may be challenging for both academic and non-academic participants. Supporting learning through evaluation, we analyzed a project aiming at sustainable transport infrastructures. After developing a TD research framework as a benchmark, two external independent evaluators interviewed all project researchers, representatives for end-users, and donors. The evaluators compared results with the framework, and evaluators and participants critically reflected on the results together. There were three inconsistencies relative to the framework: (1) limited understanding of TD research among project management, end-users, and most of the researchers; (2) no structured learning process among end-users; instead, they expressed very diverse opinions about what they expected from the project; (3) project leaders had limited understanding of the special challenges of TD research, did not fully understand the status of the project's social system, and thus did not act as facilitators of the required collaborative learning process. Non-academic participants saw themselves as customers and not as partners in the knowledge production process. We conclude that TD problem-solving research requires much time and needs facilitation and training. A preparatory phase with a lower level of funding would be helpful in preparing for TD processes.

Authors/Creators:Axelsson, Robert and Ljung, Magnus and Blicharska, Malgorzata and Frisk, Michael and Henningsson, Marianne and Mikusinski, Grzegorz and Folkeson, Lennart and Goransson, Gorgen and Jonsson-Ekstrom, Sofia and Sjolund, Anders and Skoog, Jan and Törnblom, Johan and Angelstam, Per
Title:The Challenge of Transdisciplinary Research: A Case Study of Learning by Evaluation for Sustainable Transport Infrastructures
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:12
Article number:6995
Number of Pages:24
ISSN:2071-1050
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 503 Educational Sciences > Learning
Keywords:learning through evaluation, research design, researcher-stakeholder collaboration, sustainability, transdisciplinary, sustainable development, transport infrastructure
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108151
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108151
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3390/su12176995
Web of Science (WoS)000571200200001
ID Code:17836
Faculty:LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Work Science, Business Economics, and Environmental Psychology
(S) > School for Forest Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:15 Oct 2020 15:18
Metadata Last Modified:15 Oct 2020 15:21

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