G5 Community-related: Allow the CSOs to embed the project in their typical social environment

When projects are community-related they are socially driven by CSOs. This might be especially the case if a CSO is the project coordinator or one of the lead partners. Another case could be that the CSO is contracted to undertake standard scientific work. The CSO members are required to act like researchers which in normal practice implies that they need to work objectively, putting aside their normative orientations and assumptions. However, this does not have to be a contradiction if the (expected) results support the CSO’s goals and views. Then, the CSO can embed the project in its typical social environment and advertise for the evidence base of its views. Researchers, funders and all others involved also profit from this strategy because results are disseminated widely.

Example: CSO in environmental safety as project leader

One of our case study projects aimed to find out how a specific type of wood could lead to more sustainable energy production and consumption. At the same time, the intention was to improve safety standards. The project was led by a CSO with a focus on environmental safety. The project partner was a company which was experienced in political consultancy on environmental safety. Neither partner was interested in publishing the project results in scientific journals, but instead focused on developing practical recommendations from their work. Similarly, the funder did not expect the consortium to publish scientifically but to produce project results which could inform future environmental policy. The CSO was thus able to embed the project as a success story within their own social environment and to allow lay people who were members of this CSO to learn from the project.