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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Pathways from research to sustainable development: Insights from ten research projects in sustainability and resilience

Scaini, Anna; Mulligan, Joseph; Berg, Hakan; Brangari, Albert; Bukachi, Vera; Carenzo, Sebastian; Chau Thi, Da; Courtney-Mustaphi, Colin; Ekblom, Anneli; Fjelde, Hanne; Fridahl, Mathias; Hansson, Anders; Hicks, Lettice; Hoejer, Mattias; Juma, Benard; Kain, Jaan-Henrik; Kariuki, Rebecca W.; Kim, Soben; Lane, Paul; Leizeaga, Ainara;
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Drawing on collective experience from ten collaborative research projects focused on the Global South, we identify three major challenges that impede the translation of research on sustainability and resilience into better-informed choices by individuals and policy-makers that in turn can support transformation to a sustainable future. The three challenges comprise: (i) converting knowledge produced during research projects into successful knowledge application; (ii) scaling up knowledge in time when research projects are short-term and potential impacts are long-term; and (iii) scaling up knowledge across space, from local research sites to larger-scale or even global impact. Some potential pathways for funding agencies to overcome these challenges include providing targeted prolonged funding for dissemination and outreach, and facilitating collaboration and coordination across different sites, research teams, and partner organizations. By systematically documenting these challenges, we hope to pave the way for further innovations in the research cycle.


Climate change adaptation; Knowledge co-creation; Knowledge transfer; Resilience; Sustainable development goals; Upscaling

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2024, Volume: 53, number: 4, pages: 517–533 Publisher: SPRINGER