Virtual Session Co Design
© Klaus Mersmann, GIZ

Co-designing the Ocean Science we need for Africa

The virtual session “Co-designing the science we need for the Ocean Decade” was convened by IOC’s Sub Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States (IOC-Africa). It was part of the Ocean Decade Virtual Series in run-up to the start of the Ocean Decade in January 2021.

Looking at concrete examples and experiences in co-design from across the continent, the session had a lively discussion around the questions of main challenges and opportunities of collaborative research as well as the capacity development, education and resource needs for effective collaborative research.

MeerWissen played an active role in this discussion and had the opportunity to present its co-design approach and reflect on the co-design workshop in the set-up of the MeerWissen partnership projects. MeerWissen pursues a strong partnership and co-design approach to address concrete research needs in partner countries. The partnership projects are jointly developed and implemented. The MeerWissen secretariat invites all selected partnership projects to participate in a co-design workshop before submitting their full proposals. The aim of this workshop is to introduce all projects and their respective implementing organizations, discuss contents, seek feedback and create synergies between projects. The workshop also lays the foundation for future collaboration and a vivid MeerWissen community by shaping connections between all parties. The initiative’s co-design approach is an important building block to bridge the science-policy gap and contributes to shape practice in marine policy.

In the discussion it became clear that there is a great interest in more transdisciplinary and collaborative research activities but that it often lacks funding as well as specific guidelines and capacities on how to successfully incorporate co-design in projects.

Part 2 and closing webinar of the Ocean Decade virtual series will take place on December 8, 2020 16:00 – 18:00. It will recap the main issues and questions that arose during the series of regional webinars so far, revisit key aspects that need to be better anchored and explore innovative methodologies for engagement and integration of different knowledge systems. MeerWissen will take part again in an exciting agenda.

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