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Integrating Framework and the Stakeholder Forum

by Claire Walsh last modified 2006-11-07 12:03

Summary of discussion and recommendations from the Integrating Framework and the Stakeholder Forum held in May 2006.

The unique aspect of the BKCC initiative is that from the outset mechanisms were included to encourage the projects to work together and to include stakeholder input. Procedures were also put in place to facilitate access to common datasets and to encourage projects to use the same case study areas. This was achieved through two mechanisms: the Integrating Framework and the Stakeholder Forum.

 

Why was an integrating mechanism required?

 

Research is often carried out with little contact between organisations undertaking similar research or with the stakeholders who will use the research outputs. This often results in silo thinking, duplication of research and generation of research outputs that do not meet stakeholder or end user requirements.

 

The methodology was developed for the BKCC and was designed specifically to encourage the use of common tools and case studies, and to improve understanding of the multidisciplinary research challenges raised by the need to adapt UK buildings and infrastructure to a changing climate. The approach described could be applied to any group of projects.

 

Integrating framework

 

The “Integrating Framework” (IF) was established by UKCIP and EPSRC and is the key instrument that was used to encourage projects to work together and with stakeholders, and to share case study sites. It also included the establishment of a data management group to oversee the intelligent access and sharing of data and a communications task to facilitate the sharing of information between projects and development of the website. The aims of the Integrating Framework were to:

  • maximize the resources of the individual projects through collaboration;
  • manage the projects as a coherent portfolio; and
  • ensure the outputs of the projects reach the widest possible stakeholder community.

 

 Stakeholder forum and engagement

 

UKCIP is stakeholder-led and the importance of making the BKCC research relevant to stakeholders was realised early in the process. All projects involved in this programme of research were required to identify and involve in their project steering groups a group of stakeholders who would benefit from the research. It was recognised that this could result in stakeholders feeling over-burdened so a Stakeholder Forum was established to facilitate “efficient” stakeholder engagement and minimise stakeholder fatigue. The objectives of this Forum were to:

  • better understand the potential impacts of climate change on the built environment, transport and the utilities;
  • inform stakeholders on how to successfully adapt to impacts of climate change;
  • inform the research community on the research challenges in implementing these adaptation strategies.

 

At the final Integrating Framework and Stakeholder Forum in May 2006, workshop groups discussed the advantages of both the Integrated Framework and the Stakeholder Forum and made recommendations for the future.

Integrating framework

 

Advantages

  • Use of common scenarios, tools, case study sites, data, etc. encourages consistency across projects;
  • Data collection only needs to be done once as information is shared with all projects;
  • Communication tools (IF meetings, newsletters, project reports and intranet) useful for sharing information; and
  • Interaction with other projects and communities.

 

Recommendations

 

  • Ensure Principal Investigators on all projects within the programme are aware of requirements of the IF and make provision for this in their budget.
  • Need external website as well as intranet.
  • Consider data requirements when identifying stakeholders as they can often provide data to the project.
  • Need to get stakeholders involved in the IF.
  • Need to consider interactions with projects outside the IF.

 

 Stakeholder forum and engagement

 

Advantages

  • Stakeholder involvement essential for data and site access and for connecting to decision-makers who can implement findings.
  • Stakeholders provide vital input into design of the project and methodology and ensure outputs are in a useful format.
  • Engaging stakeholders demonstrates these are “real world” problems, which is sometimes a funding criteria.
  • Provides a mechanism to encourage new stakeholders to get involved.
  • Allows researchers to see the outputs being used and to follow this through.

 

Recommendations

  • Include stakeholders with a wide range of expertise.
  • Ensure that stakeholders are in a position to make decisions and have a practitioner constituency to refer to.
  • Stakeholders need to show ownership of outputs and help communicate these to potential users of the information.
  • Get stakeholders involved in the project design phase.
  • Allows for building relationships and shaping research agenda and outputs.
  • Need to ensure stakeholder and researcher timetables are linked.
  • Need to recognise stakeholder time is provided “in-kind”.


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