NEWAVE e-Lecture Series: Knowledge co-production and the science-policy interface | Dr. Julia Martínez & Dr. Violeta Cabello

December 15, 2020, 14.00 - 14.35

Knowledge co-production and the science-policy interface

This talk covers three interrelated topics with regards to actionability of knowledge for water governance. First, we discuss the type of knowledge required to deal with water governance challenges that are complex, uncertain and underpinned by contested interests. We argue that this knowledge has to be both inter and transdisciplinary and produced in non-linear processes of learning and acting. Second, we introduce the concept of knowledge co-production and situate it within a wider literature of sustainability sciences. Different perspectives on what for and how to co-produce knowledge are explained together with some key principles and limitations to consider when designing a co-production process. Thirdly, we present an overview of the main models of science-policy interaction for water governance from a historical perspective. We then outline the key components of a science-policy interface that uses the ‘best available knowledge’ in deliberative decision-making processes.


Miller, C.A., Wyborn, C. (2018). Co-production in global sustainability: Histories and theories. Environmental Science & Policy.

Norström, A.V., Cvitanovic, C., Löf, M.F., West, S., Wyborn, C., Balvanera, P., Bednarek, A.T., Bennett, E.M., et al. (2020). Principles for knowledge co-production in sustainability research. Nat Sustain 1–9. 

Balvanera P, Jacobs S, Nagendra H, O’Farrell P, Bridgewater P, Crouzat E, Dendoncker N, Goodwin S, Gustafsson S, Kadykalo A, Krug C, Matuk F, Pandit R, Sala JM, Schröter M & Washbourne CL. (2020). The science-policy interface on ecosystems and people: challenges and opportunities, Ecosystems and People, 16:1, 345-353.


Dr. Julia Martínez 

Julia Martínez is the executive director of FNCA and PhD in Biology (University of Murcia) is an ecologist with 25 years research experience on dynamic modelling and simulation of socio-ecological systems, particularly focusing on arid zones, the social, environmental and economic interactions in irrigated systems, the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, the ecology of water-related systems and the integrated water management at the basin level. She has coordinated or participated in around 25 national and international research projects on these topics, combining different methodological approaches, such as dynamic system modelling, the development of sustainability indicators and scenario and policy analysis. She is the author or co-author of more than 140 scientific publications on these issues. She also has 30 years of experience as an activist on environmental and water issues and is a founding member of different environmental NGOs and citizen initiatives. More information on Julia’s research work at ResearchGate.

Dr. Violeta Cabello

Violeta Cabello is a multidisciplinary environmental scientist with a special focus on methodological development for the analysis of social-ecological systems and water governance. She is particularly interested in the combination of quantitative, qualitative and participatory methods blending academic and non-academic knowledge. She is a Juan de la Cierva fellow at the Basque Center for Climate Change working on knowledge co-production about the collapse of the Mar Menor Lagoon in collaboration with NeWAVE. She holds a PhD in Human Geography at the University of Seville, focused on integrated assessment of water governance in semi-arid watersheds. She has extensive experience working with grass-roots organisations like FNCA and is a trained facilitator at the Wikitoki Lab for Collaborative Practices. 

About the e-Lecture Series:

This online training module has the objective to engage the NEWAVESRs and the audience in different water governance perspectives. All lectures are open to the public upon registration.

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