Author(s): Melissa Robson-Williams, Bruce Small, Roger Robson-Williams and Nick Kirk
The socio-environmental challenges the world faces are ‘swamps’: situations that are messy, complex, and uncertain. The aim of this paper is to help disciplinary scientists navigate these swamps. To achieve this, the paper evaluates an integrative framework designed for researching complex real-world problems, the Integration and Implementation Science (i2S) framework. As a pilot study, we examine seven inter and transdisciplinary agri-environmental case studies against the concepts presented in the i2S framework, and we hypothesise that considering concepts in the i2S framework during the planning and delivery of agri-environmental research will increase the usefulness of the research for next users. We found that for the types of complex, real-world research done in the case studies, increasing attention to the i2S dimensions correlated with increased usefulness for the end users. We conclude that using the i2S framework could provide handrails for researchers, to help them navigate the swamps when engaging with the complexity of socio-environmental problems.