Monday, 13 January 2020: 8:30 AM
Research about the understanding of climate variability (with periods ranging from weeks, seasons and years) as well as the possibility to predict it, has made considerable progress during the recent decades at global scales and in particular in South America. However, the literature confirms that there is an important gap between that scientific knowledge and its potential social appropriation. Aiming on narrowing this gap, the scientific community started to develop innovative methodologies, focused on interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral interaction, while international organizations encouraged programs and initiatives aimed at what it is called "climate services" to address the provision of climate information for key socioeconomic sectors (agriculture, health, etc.). The knowledge co-production approach found an important echo and, beyond the diversity of approaches found in literature, a common point is the difficulty to evaluate and learn from these co-production processes. Considering this difficulty, we put into practice a co-production experience with agricultural producers, political decision-makers and an interdisciplinary team of researchers (climatologists and anthropologists) in the Gran Chaco wetland area of Argentina, with the aim of co-producing climate information tools to underpin local family agriculture. The framework, based on an implicated science approach, requires to start a dialog with alterity basing on three main premises: hermeneutic disposition (that is, a dialog that does not seek to impose a standpoint but that allows for words against its own certainties), the principle of symmetry of all knowledge systems involved (scientific, institutional, local, etc.), and the acknowledgement that co-production is played as part of asymmetric social relationships. These three premises are examined as well as the way in which they allowed us to build an interdisciplinary dynamics (between climatologists and anthropologists) as well as a inter-sectoral dialog in the territory with different sectors and institutions involved (farmers, agricultural extension agents, rural schools, political decision-makers, NGOs) leading to a horizon of shared senses which oriented knowledge co-production process. The interaction was organized in what we called “co-production cycles” to produce disciplinary, interdisciplinary and trans-sectoral knowledge. Two main outcomes achieved under this coproduction dynamics are presented: a community rainfall observing network and a cell-phone application providing county-level climate services. We conclude by pointing out the lessons learned from this experience.
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