Science for Society Solutions (S4S) - Tools for Participatory Science Wiki
The Tools for Participatory Science wiki was created to help bridge the gap between the advances in the Earth and environmental sciences and their uptake by stakeholders of all kinds, ranging from policy makers to natural resource managers to affected members of the public. This wiki portal was developed within the scope of Science for Society Solutions (S4S), a project within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Programme, administered by the European Commission.
S4S is working to enhance access to the concepts, methods and tools necessary for effective participatory research and stakeholder engagement. Participatory research involves the active and continual engagement of stakeholders in a study, investigation or process of scientific discovery where the participants hold equal or greater power of control over the process than the researchers. Participatory, engagement-based approaches lead to the exchange of local and scientific knowledge, effectively forming a bridge between research and practice. Moving these powerful methods further into the mainstream requires the collaboration of social and biophysical scientists. To that end, the concept and toolkit topics of this wiki tool are provided by experts in the global community of practice of participatory research, with the objective to make these methods more accessible to biophysical scientists and practitioners. The tool aims to narrow the gap between their research (basic or applied) and solutions to the serious challenges society faces under rapidly changing environmental conditions. One of the primary objectives of the UNCCD is to ensure active participation by stakeholders at all scales. The information in this wiki is therefore of direct relevance to all working collaboratively to understand and address desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) in support of local, national and global efforts to maintain or exceed land degradation neutrality (LDN).
S4S has been providing input to the evolution of the knowledge management efforts of the UNCCD over the past few years and contributed to the development and testing of the pilot project that preceded the UNCCD Knowledge Hub (the Scientific Knowledge Brokering Portal or SKBP). During the development and testing of the Tools for Participatory Science wiki, a partnership between the Knowledge Hub and S4S was formed. That partnership is mutually beneficial, helping expand the reach of the wiki while enhancing the capacity of the UNCCD to develop policies with a strong scientific foundation and the capacity of practitioners to encourage scientific efforts to avoid, reduce or reverse land degradation.