Major Research Project

Facilitating cooperation in transdisciplinary research and evaluating its role in SenseMaker® for a developing world context

Project Leader(s): Dr. John van Breda, Prof. Mark Swilling

Cultural context holds a significant role in influencing cooperative behaviour. Although cooperation is central to the transdisciplinary research process, transdisciplinary research models little explore the factors that may facilitate it. Additionally, most studies on transdisciplinary research come from the developed world, which is not so easily transferable to a developing world context. This leaves a gap in understanding how cooperation may be better facilitated in transdisciplinary research especially for the developing world.

SenseMaker® is a narrative-based research tool that emphasises cultural understanding through reflective dialogue. It brings academia and societal stakeholders together to co-produce and disseminate knowledge, allowing the societal stakeholders to interpret the findings of the process. Understanding the role cooperation holds in the SenseMaker® process may serve useful for advancing the field of transdisciplinary research. As the African continent is a major target for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, transdisciplinary research may benefit from more attention in an African context.