Stakeholder engagement is highly relevant to climate change risk assessment and decision-making: the European Union, in its Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, highlighted the need for co-creation of knowledge and co-delivery of outcomes with economic, industrial and research actors, public authorities and/or civil society. In response, the COACCH project has included co-design, co-production and co-dissemination as key principles for the development and delivery of research. This is reflected in the project title, “CO-designing the Assessment of Climate CHange costs”, and methodology. This approach involves a major change from previous European economic cost studies on climate change, which have been science led, and have used stakeholder engagement only to communicate results.
Co-design (cooperative design) is at the heart of COACCH. It consists of the participatory design of the research project with stakeholders (including users of the research). Co-design is the first phase of the co-production process, in which researchers and non-academic partners jointly develop the research project and define research questions that meet their collective interests and needs.
Co-production (cooperative production) is the participatory development and implementation of the COACCH research project with stakeholders. This uses practice-orientated research, co-producing the research and case studies through an iterative process that helps to translate the research into useful and useable information or knowledge.
Co-delivery / Co-dissemination (cooperative delivery) is the participatory design and implementation of strategies for appropriate use of research, including the joint delivery of research outputs and exploitation of results.
This inclusive approach characterizes the entire project, from defining research questions and policy scenarios to the impact and outreach activities. Stakeholders are involved with an innovative science-practice methodology using four thematic working group meetings: i) policy makers, ii) investors, iii) business and industry and iv) research and civil society. This is complemented with bi-lateral follow-up meetings with deep engagement stakeholders, and online surveys. This ensures that research focuses on the interests and needs of users, addressing relevant cross-sectoral perspectives to provide meaningful information for the public and private sectors.
The interaction of extended research-stakeholders’s interaction will foster and demonstrate a new research practice that moves COACCH beyond a purely academic study into a fully co-designed and co-delivered high-level scientific assessment of climate risks and costs for Europe.