The MSoG Labs are a participatory action research program designed to develop an appropriate form of research translation for transdisciplinary problems. A small group of researchers and policy practitioners form the core of the action research group. All participants are invited to undertake professional development in transdisciplinary collaboration and group model building.  They then join transdisciplinary teams working on research synthesis projects within MSoG. Participants are surveyed or interviewed before and after participation to determine the effectiveness of the pilot programs. 

The MSoG Labs Pilot Framework

A primary (external) stakeholder and question are identified as the beginning of the process.

Step 1 Identify Stakeholders

Some stakeholders will be known already. Others will be identified through special interest groups, geographic or demographic communities affected by a policy. Researchers whose expertise is relevant will also be identified. Representatives of all stakeholder groups identified will be invited to the MSoG Policy Workshop 1.

Step 2 MSoG Policy Workshop Part 1

This lab will consist of:

  1. an introduction to group model building using system dynamics notation
  2. factor brainstorming
  3. causal loop diagramming (CLD) with polarities
  4. facilitated discussion of the insights from CLD, knowledge gaps and their significance
  5. agree on additional knowledge needs (if none go to Step 4(3))

Step 3 Fill in the knowledge gaps as appropriate

This step may consist of multiple stakeholders working together or separately to discover or co-create the knowledge that was identified at Step 2(5) as being both important to a solution and actionable within an appropriate timeframe.

Step 4 MSoG Policy Workshop Part 2

This lab will consist of:

  1. review the knowledge discovered or co-created at Step 3
  2. ensure that there is stakeholder consensus, or that any disconsensus or outstanding knowledge gaps are noted
  3. finalise the documentation in the format required by the primary stakeholder

If you are interested in the MSoG labs either as a research participant or as an external stakeholder with a question that you would like looked at, we would be very happy to be contacted by emailing Kate Neely.

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