G4 Cooperative-inclusive: Work towards mutual learning experiences

In this project type CSOs are on the same social level as the rest of the consortium, they have comparable rights and duties and they are expected to have transformative effects on the knowledge production. CSOs accept the scientific character of the project and the problem definition but at the same time their involvement should lead to new outcomes that would not occur if they did not participate. For example, certain tasks can’t be fulfilled without the CSOs, or the researchers themselves may not be sure how to solve the scientific problem via their normal scientific practices.

There is a clear opportunity within cooperative-inclusive projects for both sides to learn from each other’s experiences. This is why we recommend all involved in such social constellations to work towards mutual learning experiences.

Example: Transfer of social innovation between communities

A project on sustainable development in local communities explored how social innovations could be transferred from one community to another. It involved several CSOs which had a central position in the project due to their prior connections with the communities of focus. The CSOs were the intermediaries connecting researchers with the relevant communities. The communities not only trusted the CSOs but the CSOs also had local knowledge which worked as a necessary precondition to pursue the research activities. Further, the CSOs partly took care of the data collection processes within the project. The data analysis was conducted in full cooperation between CSOs and scientists. It was not that the CSOs had a high academic profile but they were very interested in the results and the researchers depended on their contextual knowledge which influenced the interpretation of the data.

As a result, the researchers learned more about the social environment they were studying, whilst the CSOs gained experiences in scientific work. This cooperation resulted in joint publication initiatives. The scientists aimed at sharing the scientific reputation of the project with the CSOs while the CSOs intended to publish their experiences and the knowledge they had gained so that a broader community is enabled to learn from them now and in the future.