Co-creation monitoring project



Dr Mary Anne Thompson

Project leader Co-Leader

The University of Auckland


Project overview


Ongoing collaboration among stakeholders, researchers, and tangata whenua is essential to fulfilling the “co-created research” goals of the Resilience Challenge. A preliminary study that explored Resilience Challenge partners’ perspectives on co-created research concluded that a high level of researcher-stakeholder integration is necessary at each stage of the project – from co-designing research goals, through to co-producing knowledge, shared dissemination of results, and jointly evaluating the outcomes.

While RNC partners overwhelmingly agree that a “co-created research” process will help achieve better research outcomes, they are apprehensive of this due to the lack of clarity around what co-creation is and whether it will integrate the needs and perspectives of people with a range of backgrounds, worldviews and aspirations. This project will independently track the development of co-created research within the Resilience Challenge during actual practice. The research will critically assess and document engagement and stakeholder interaction, documenting challenges encountered along with solutions developed .

Longitudinal surveys and focus group activities with the partners of one or two (depending on the needs of the Science Leadership Team) of the Co-creation Laboratory projects will be used to collect qualitative and quantitative data about researcher-stakeholder integration and engagement over the course of the Resilience Challenge. This data will feed-back valuable insight into the nature and effectiveness of engagement efforts to Challenge management, as well as help create a better understanding amongst science leadership within the Resilience Challenge of how different groups of people influence or are being affected by the research. By conducting analyses at regular stages over the course of the Resilience Challenge, Co-creation Laboratory partners can identify critical gaps or inconsistencies in engagement activities in real-time, with this information used to fine-tune researcher approach.

In addition to providing a structured process for adaptive management and feedback for at least one of the Priority Co-creation Laboratories, this project will help fill an important gap in the international literature. While the number of large-scale, long-term, trans-disciplinary environmental research projects are on the rise, there is a lack of documentation and reporting on how such projects actually evolve, and whether or not successful researcher-stakeholder integration is achieved. By actively tracking the dynamic evolution of a co-created research approach and the type of engagement activities that drive it, this project will create valuable new knowledge about the challenges of carrying out large-scale trans-disciplinary research, and how these affect long-term project goals.



Project outcomes


Contribution to Challenge Mission

The RNC mission is underpinned by the paradigm that the key to achieving transformative resilience is through recognising shared visions and co-creating knowledge about hazard, risk, and resilience together. Maintaining such a high level of engagement among a broad and diverse group of people with various worldviews will require on-going effort from researchers and project partners. This project aims to monitor and document these efforts in order to better understand the ways in which engagement shapes and guides the evolution of a co-created research project. Formative evaluations will serve as both A) a resource for partners to adapt and enhance engagement efforts to work toward better outcomes, and B) a well-documented case study for sharing lessons about co-creating research with the international research community.



Vision Mātauranga (“VM”) outcome

This project will give local iwi and hapu a platform to voice their attitudes towards how they feel about their level of involvement in the Priority Co-creation Laboratory research activities, and will also enable the specific Priority Co-creation Laboratory to identify and address any shortcomings in engagement with tangata whenua.


10-year outcome

An in-depth understanding of how stakeholder engagement drives and shapes co-created research projects has underpinned the development of internationally-relevant strategies for optimising researcher-stakeholder integration.


5-year outcome

Form a conceptual map of the researcher-stakeholder relationships; Priority Co-creation Laboratory partners are adaptively managing engagement efforts based on formative feedback.



This project will explore different dimensions of engagement and co-created research:


Adaptive engagement

At designated intervals, this project will feed back information about engagement to the partners of the chosen Priority Co-Creation Laboratory(ies). This will provide tangible data for the teams to critically assess, adapt, and improve the ways in which they are engaging with stakeholders.



Evolution of co-created research

The wider scope of the project is to monitor, document, and evaluate how co-created research evolves as a collaborative process. The project will use the collected data to assess how actual engagement practice aligns with the conceptual “co-created research” model which partners described prior to the project commencing. This will help better define what embodies “co-created research” and how it can be achieved, which is of interest internationally.