Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Knowledge co-production in the Helge a catchment: a comparative analysis

Malmborg, Katja; Wallin, Ida; Brukas, Vilis; Do, Thao; Lodin, Isak; Neset, Tina-Simone; Norström, Albert V; Powell, Neil; Tonderski, Karin S.


Addressing sustainability challenges in landscape management requires processes for co-producing usable knowledge together with those who will use that knowledge. Participatory futures methods are powerful tools for attaining such knowledge. The applications of such methods are diverse and understanding the intricacies of the knowledge co-production process is important to further develop these research practices. To improve participatory futures methods and contribute to systematic and critical reflections on methodology, we present a comparative analysis of four research projects that applied participatory futures methods in the same study area. Conducted between 2011 and 2020, these projects aimed to co-produce knowledge about the future provision of ecosystem services in the Helge a catchment area in southern Sweden. For structuring the post-hoc, self-reflexive analysis, we developed a framework dividing the knowledge co-production process into three dimensions: settings, synthesis and diffusion. We based the analysis on documentation from the projects, a two-step questionnaire to each research team, a workshop with co-authors and interviews with key participants. The comparison highlights steps in project decision-making, explicit and implicit assumptions in our respective approaches and how these assumptions informed process design in the projects. Our detailed description of the four knowledge co-production processes points to the importance of flexibility in research design, but also the necessity for researchers and other participants to adapt as the process unfolds.


Berta Martin-Lopez; Futures methods; ecosystem services; landscape management; participatory methods; process evaluation; transdisciplinarity

Published in

Ecosystems and People
2022, Volume: 18, number: 1, pages: 565-582

      SLU Authors

          Sustainable Development Goals

          Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
          Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

          UKÄ Subject classification

          Information Systems, Social aspects

          Publication identifier


          Permanent link to this page (URI)