Learning to bridge the knowledge-to-policy gap

Training researchers, policymakers and civil society members to work towards evidence-based policy in urban climate resilience

This educational activity is an in-person training workshop and subsequent webinar to accompany an urban climate resilience curriculum, which is designed for researchers to deliver to government and civil society stakeholders with whom they plan to share their research findings. This training workshop and webinar complements the Fellowship project of Joanna Kocsis and Rebecca McMillan, which is being conducted in partnership with the Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia (UCRSEA) and seeks to build capacity for policy uptake of urban climate resilience research.

In collaboration with UCRSEA researchers, Joanna and Rebecca are preparing an urban climate resilience training module that researchers can deliver to their partners in government and civil society to better equip them to apply their research findings to policy or practice. The output of their project is an urban climate resilience training module tailored to Southeast Asian cities, which will include a manual, a modifiable powerpoint presentation, and a training-the-trainer presentation/webinar. All materials will be made available as an open source resource through the UCRSEA and the School of Cities websites so that researchers can adapt them to any global urban context.

The team will deliver the in-person training workshop to UCRSEA research partners at the group’s Annual Workshop in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 23rd. This ‘training-the-trainers’ workshop will be filmed and converted into a webinar in which both video of the trainers (Joanna and Rebecca) and progression of the slides will be coordinated for ease of online navigation. The goal of the webinar is to provide user-friendly instructions to support researchers in delivering their own workshops, even if they did not attend the in-person training, thus extending the reach of this educational activity well beyond the UCRSEA project. 

Their educational objective is to build the capacity of researchers, policymakers and civil society groups to bridge the knowledge to policy gap. Globally, researchers are revealing how urbanization intersects with climate change to create new vulnerabilities. However, stakeholders often lack the capacity to translate this knowledge into policy and practice, and building such capacity typically falls outside of the scope of most research funding and the competence of most researchers. Their project addresses this gap by building capacity of (1) researchers to ‘train’ policymakers and civil society groups to better understand the complexities of urban climate resilience; and of (2) policymakers and civil society members to use evidence generated by urban climate resilience research.

Project leads: 

Joanna Kocsis and Rebecca McMillan, School of Cities Fellows, PhD students, Department of Geography and Planning
Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia – UCRSEA, Dr. Amrita Daniere, principal investigator