During the course of GAP1, considerable attention was given to facilitating collaborative working relationships and understanding the social behaviours and conditions conducive to success. The resulting lessons have been summarised in a Good Practice Guide and Code of Conduct and these have been used to develop the strategy for GAP2, starting from the very beginning with a participatory planning process. With the successful completion of GAP1, the project has now moved onto its second phase.
GAP2 has a greater focus on the implementation of the participatory research actions planned in the first phase. In the words of Science in Society, the project implements ‘Mobilisation and Mutual Learning (MML)’ actions to encourage successful collaboration, as Mackinson explains:
“Mobilisation is getting people together, but it’s also about mobilising their knowledge and skills. Doing participatory research is an example of mobilising people’s knowledge and bringing it together. It facilitates shared learning”.
Beyond the day-to-day research activities, specific and practical shared-learning opportunities will be created. These workshops will be designed to meet the needs of those in attendance. It’s a conscious effort to focus on what matters to the partners.
“The vital thing,” Mackinson underlines, “is to create a meaningful and focused opportunity where there is an incentive for both sides to participate”.