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S. Ziaja

Abstract

Climate adaptation relies on theoretical frameworks of coproduced science and knowledge networks to produce acceptable outcomes for politically contentious resources. As adaptation moves from theory to implementation, there is a need for positive case studies to use as benchmarks. Building from literature on actionable science this paper presents one such positive case—the development of a hydropower and reservoir decision-support tool. The focus of this history is on the multiple phases of interaction (and noninteraction) between researchers and a semidefined community of stakeholders. The lessons presented from the Integrated Forecast and Reservoir Management (INFORM) system project stress that collaborations between managers and researchers were crucial to the success of the project by building knowledge networks, which could outlast formal processes, and by incorporating policy preferences of end users into the model. The history also provides examples of how even successful collaborative projects do not always follow the usual expectations for coproduced science and shows that, even when those guidelines are followed, external circumstances can threaten the adoption of research products. Ultimately, this paper argues for the importance of building strong knowledge networks alongside more formal processes—like those in boundary organizations—for effective collaborative engagement.

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