Capacity for Transition
The Collaboration Lab
Determining the role of collaboration in transforming management of land and water
What Are We Doing?
In New Zealand, adversarial processes have dominated natural resource decision-making processes, leading to stalemate and inaction. The magnitude and complexity of the challenges for New Zealand’s land and water require science and society to interact in new ways. One of these new ways of working is collaboration.
Social science over the past 20 years has emphasised the importance of collaboration for achieving successful outcomes in complex systems. However, there is insufficient long-term evaluation of collaborative approaches, a lack of information about Māori participation in collaborative processes, and a scarcity of studies on how researchers undertake interdisciplinary research. This means collaboration has proven very difficult in practice.
The Collaboration Lab programme will help address these gaps. The Collaboration Lab will use case studies from the best collaborations occurring throughout New Zealand, to develop tools for developing and implementing pathways towards achieving water quality limits and other community values.
How Can The Research Be Used?
- Our goal is for citizens and scientists to use our research to be more effective in participating in collaborations. The Collaboration Lab is developing a model to understand what conditions, capabilities and capacities influence the success of collaborative processes. This model has been co-developed with collaboration practitioners across New Zealand. Read a draft description of the model here.
- The Collaboration Lab used New Zealand case studies to test the I2S (Integration and Implementation Science) Framework. A significant relationship was found, suggesting that when more elements of the I2S Framework were used in research, end-users found the results more usable, and the research was more effective. This evidence supports Our Land and Water’s commitment to co-innovation and transdisciplinary research and can help researchers. Read the abstract here.
- The Collaboration Lab has developed a model for collaboration based on pōwhiri, to support collaborations with iwi, hapu and Māori communities. The model has been tested and validated by iwi groups, including Nga Rangatahi A Iwi, a group of young Māori future leaders, and will next be tested with other collaboration practitioners. Watch the video here, or read more in Powhiri as a Tool for Collaboration (PDF).
- Community participation in freshwater management decisions has been measured in catchments in the Waikato, Northland and Hawkes Bay regions over time. Collaboration Lab researchers found that participation increased 7% between 2015 and 2017. While rates of participation were similar in catchments with collaborative and non-collaborative processes, public perceptions of freshwater management decisions improved in the two catchments using collaborative planning processes (Northland and Waikato), and declined in the region where the collaborative process was not completed (Hawkes Bay). The survey will be repeated in 2019.
- 16 New Zealanders using collaboration practices in their work participated in a collaborative group (2017–2018). You can explore their connections and read and watch conversations about their collaborative practises at the Starmap. Read about how this was developed in Making Practice Visible (PDF, draft). This group continues to build one another’s collaboration capabilities at the Koaro website.
- Co-innovation across the full Our Land and Water research programme is supported via Collaboration Lab workshops and training in integrated and transdisciplinary research practice. Half of the journal publications published or submitted by Our Land and Water researchers had stakeholders as co-authors by mid-2018, and frequency of collaboration increased by 66% (from 1.6 to 2.6 institutes per research programme). Challenge-funded programmes maintain an average of 5.3 collaborations.
In the Media
Integration and Implementation Insights, 26 January 2017
A lesson learnt for boundary setting was that starting with what the community wants leads to a much broader array of desirable outcomes and exposes the limitations of what can be predicted.VIEW ARTICLE →
Integration and Implementation Insights, 8 December 2016
Bringing people together around an issue such as water through a powhiri process can mean mana is recognised. Not only is the mana of the participants considered, but the mana of water and the mana of the issues related to water are considered too.VIEW ARTICLE →
- The Collaboration Lab convened a New Zealand co-conference of the International Transdisciplinarity Conference 2017 in Leuphana, Germany. View the presentations from the conference here.
- Public lecture to University of Third Age on collaboration and social licence to farm in New Zealand.
- Public workshop on collaborative practice.
Melissa Robson WilliamsManaaka Whenua Profile →
Bruce SmallAgResearch Profile →
Graeme NicholasESR Profile →
Suzie GreenhalghManaaka Whenua Profile →
Nicolas KirkManaaka Whenua Profile →
Jim SinnerCawthron Institute Profile →
Roger Robson-WilliamsPlant and Food Research Profile →
Dr Jeff FooteOtago University Profile →
Ronlyn DuncanManaaka Whenua Profile →
Gabriele BammerANU Profile →
Rawiri SmithKahungunu Ki Wairarapa Profile →
Phillip BarkerCultivate Profile →
Glen LauderCultivate Profile →
Whatahoro Cribb-FoxSelf-employed Profile →
Matariki Cribb-FoxSelf-employed Profile →
Have a Question?
We are happy to answer any questions about this research and how it can be used.
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