Action research as a channel for integrating community-based risk and resource management into governance frameworks

Kathi Kaesehage*, Amelia Anne Bain, Stephanie Crane De Narváez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

As outlined in the companion essay by Garcia Ferrari in this volume, modern
unprecedented challenges such as the covid-19 pandemic and climate
change-related risks require innovative research methodologies that promote
community agency and empowerment. Whereas the companion essay presents
the analytical framework for our work, this essay engages in more depth with
specific examples in Latin America, through which our international research
team has led innovative transformation processes in vulnerable urban areas.
We describe three case studies of action-research in the Galapagos Islands
(Ecuador), the city of Puebla (Mexico), and the city of Medellín (Colombia),
in which a co-production approach to integrated risk management has been
adopted. In these projects, our research teams from multiple disciplines
collaborated with communities and other stakeholders to understand
their perceptions of risk. We have co-developed transdisciplinary research
methodologies and appropriate adaptation solutions that have the potential to
be scaled up to other at-risk communities and integrated with government-led
policies and programmes. Based on these experiences, we argue that the value
of co-production approaches to integrated risk management, when confronting
modern intractable challenges in urban areas, lies in their contribution to both
the research process itself – through co-creating methodologies that integrate
pluralistic viewpoints, perspectives and needs – and to the research findings,
through setting up a continuous ‘dialogue of knowledges’ creating shared
responsibility, through locally-oriented actions. These contributions present
opportunities to develop research methodologies that may achieve a greater
impact within the context of Latin American cities, where inequality, poor
governance and increasing urban sprawl commonly co-exist.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhy Latin America Matters
Subtitle of host publicationA Collection of Essays
EditorsSoledad Garcia Ferrari, Hans Egil Offerdal, Marta Alicja Kania
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherCentre for Contemporary Latin American Studies, University of Edinburgh
ISBN (Print)9781912669288
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021


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