Stakeholder participation in research projects

The Agenda 2030 stresses the importance of stakeholder integration in decision-making processes in the field of sustainable development and strengthening the science-policy interface. In this context, ÖFSE focuses on participatory research and stakeholder participation.

Stakeholderworkshop Pune, February 2019
Stakeholderworkshop Pune, February 2019

Participatory research aims at joint production of knowledge by researchers and local stakeholders and the acquisition of new insights from both perspectives. In recent years - also in development and sustainability research - we have seen the advancement of a multitude of participatory processes and methods. Depending on the purpose, stakeholders can be involved in different ways and in different phases of research projects, including the definition of the research question and hypotheses, the collection and analysis of information, and the reflection and application of research results. Via co-creation between researchers and different groups of stakeholders, diverse types of knowledge (e.g., cognitive, emotional, intuitive, experiential and contextual knowledge) can be mobilized. Importantly, research results can be made more socially relevant. To become an integral and valuable component of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research projects, these participation processes are carefully designed, implemented and reflected upon, in close cooperation with the local partners and the entire research team.

ÖFSE is engaged in various forms of participatory development and sustainability research and designs stakeholder processes in research projects.

Project examples


FUSE – Food Water Energy in Urban Sustainable Environments

Many cities are facing increasing pressure on existing natural resources. Increasing urbanisation and the effects of climate change intensify this pressure. In this context, it is of great importance for cities to take measures to ensure the long-term supply of water, food and energy. Decision-makers and other stakeholders need scientific evidence to help them assess the long-term impacts of policies and strategies.

The FUSE (Food Water Energy for Urban Sustainable Environments) project aims to help meet these challenges. In the project, an integrated system model is being developed for the two case study regions of Pune (India) and Amman (Jordan), which makes it possible to assess the long-term effects of political decisions. An essential prerequisite for the project is the involvement of local stakeholders. ÖFSE staff members Karin Küblböck, Ines Omann and Hannes Grohs are responsible for this stakeholder participation process. This includes workshops at the beginning and end of the project period. At the first workshops in spring 2019 in Pune and in Amman, a total of around 200 stakeholders took part.

> More information

> Stakeholderworkshop India (PDF)

Stakeholder workshop Jordan (PDF)

APCC Special Report 22 - Structures for Climate-Friendly Living

Under the umbrella of the "Austrian Panel on Climate Change" (APCC) at the Climate Change Center Austria (CCCA), renowned experts from the Austrian climate research community summarise the current state of research on climate change in Austria at regular intervals. They highlight measures for climate change prevention and adaptation and thus provide the public with a well-founded basis for decision-making.

The APCC Special Report 22 is an evaluative summary of current research on the transformation towards structures that enable climate-friendly action and thus life for all. With a systematic presentation of effective options for courses of action, the report contributes to climate policy debates. Narratives link theories of societal transformation with strategies to sustainably address the climate crisis.

The preparation of the APCC Special Report 22 is accompanied by a stakeholder process coordinated by ÖFSE staff member Karin Küblböck together with Ines Omann (Sustainable Quality of Life - Research and Process Support).

> More information on the report and the stakeholder process

Publications on the topic: