Lessons learned in knowledge co-production for climate-smart decision-making
Knowledge co-production, a process that involves both creators and users of information in knowledge generation, is growing in popularity in the conservation and ecology fields. While examples of successful co-production are becoming more common, many barriers and challenges remain in this work. Here, we reflect on our experiences in knowledge co-production from three recent case studies, using a prominent framework to understand and improve our efforts at each phase of the co-production process. Our reflections yield insights that may help other scientists seeking to support decision-making. We found that paying particular attention to the composition of the team and connecting with agency representatives early and often are key to success. Long-term commitment to the project and the people involved are also key. We conclude with suggestions for refining the framework to incorporate our primary lessons learned and include the valuation of a plurality of knowledge systems and empowerment as an ultimate impact of knowledge co-production.