Co-design as the basis for collaboration and science to policy uptake in the Western Indian Ocean Region (page 63) in WIO science to policy platform series Volume 1 Issue 1
Nowadays, researchers from different disciplines are expected more and more to collaborate as well as with relevant stakeholders. We must move away from business-as-usual basic research to more applied and transdisciplinary research and the integration of different knowledge. Working across scientific disciplines, regions and societal groups requires new methods and concepts regarding communication, institutional arrangements and funding opportunities. Data provided by international research programs are rarely sufficiently application-oriented or context-specific. Co-design and how to use it is not widely known or intentionally practised in the region yet. However, co-design is an “Iterative and collaborative process involving diverse types of expertise, knowledge and actors to produce context-specific knowledge and pathways towards a sustainable future” (Norström and others, 2020). IOC-UNESCO emphasises the importance of co-design, and co-design was especially highlighted in the context of the Ocean Decade. This paper makes some recommendations to develop a regional vision and guiding principles, build multidisciplinary capacities, and capitalise on the UN Ocean Decade opportunities. These opportunities mainly build knowledge and practice of co-design and embed co-design more broadly across the WIO region. Suggestions for a way forward could be a regional and inter-sectoral Working Group.