Transdisciplinary research and development cooperation: Insights from the first phase of the Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation Programme on Water

Gül Özerol (Corresponding Author), Juliane Schillinger, Maher Abu-Madi

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Abstract

Transdisciplinary research offers a promising approach to development cooperation programs by integrating knowledge from academic and non-academic stakeholders, and from natural and social sciences. In the context of development research on water, there is little evidence on how stakeholder involvement takes place in the three stages of transdisciplinary research (problem definition, knowledge production, and knowledge application). This paper aims to create empirical evidence and insights on this question based on the Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation Programme onWater (PADUCO). Six research projects, which have been implemented within the first phase of PADUCO, were examined using the data collected through a survey and document reviews. The results show that research problems were defined according to societal needs and contextual factors. Research teams were multidisciplinary and included non-academic members, whereas the institutional involvement of non-academic stakeholders was limited and unbalanced between the governmental and non-governmental actors. Although the application of the knowledge produced was mainly focused on academia, opportunities for broad dissemination were utilized, albeit to a limited extent. Finally, there was a lack of monitoring and evaluation of impacts, which is explained by the budget and time limitations of such small-scale projects and can be mitigated by programme-level measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1449
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018

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transdisciplinary
development aid
research and development
water
Water
stakeholders
Research
stakeholder
social sciences
Natural Science Disciplines
knowledge production
Natural sciences
natural sciences
research projects
Social sciences
Social Sciences
evidence
Budgets
budget
research project

Keywords

  • Development cooperation
  • Palestine
  • The Netherlands
  • Transdisciplinarity
  • Transdisciplinary research
  • Water

Cite this

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abstract = "Transdisciplinary research offers a promising approach to development cooperation programs by integrating knowledge from academic and non-academic stakeholders, and from natural and social sciences. In the context of development research on water, there is little evidence on how stakeholder involvement takes place in the three stages of transdisciplinary research (problem definition, knowledge production, and knowledge application). This paper aims to create empirical evidence and insights on this question based on the Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation Programme onWater (PADUCO). Six research projects, which have been implemented within the first phase of PADUCO, were examined using the data collected through a survey and document reviews. The results show that research problems were defined according to societal needs and contextual factors. Research teams were multidisciplinary and included non-academic members, whereas the institutional involvement of non-academic stakeholders was limited and unbalanced between the governmental and non-governmental actors. Although the application of the knowledge produced was mainly focused on academia, opportunities for broad dissemination were utilized, albeit to a limited extent. Finally, there was a lack of monitoring and evaluation of impacts, which is explained by the budget and time limitations of such small-scale projects and can be mitigated by programme-level measures.",
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