Saša Raicevich’s blog: Post workshop thoughts

On the 7th & 8th of February, 2013, the GAP2 project ran a two-day workshop in Chioggia (Venice), Italy to enhance GAP2 scientists’ knowledge in methods used in social science research. You can read about the workshop here.

GAP2’s Saša Raicevich shares his thoughts on the social sciences workshop, a meeting with some Italian Fishermen and watching Italy play Scotland at rugby:

“A Few thoughts after our workshop on Social Sciences and the meeting we had today (9th February, Saturday, 2013) with the fishermen of the Northern Adriatic Italian case-study.

First, some information about the setting: We are at Gianluca’s place in Chioggia. Gianluca is cooking (spaghetti with queen scallop, crougette and Italian radicchio), Mark is talking about his experiences in Laos and Giovanni is thinking about fishing villages in Japan and we were all waiting (at least Gianluca and I are) to see the rugby match between Italy and Scotland.

So, my personal comments on the Workshop and the meeting with fishermen of this morning.

Wow! the workshop was very effective and showed us how we can learn from each other and that social science should be handled with care (It’s better to work with experts than be naïve). There is a difference between studying methods and applying them!

The purpose as to why you use them, what you can really achieve, what you could not, what is your role (and how your beliefs are affecting interactions) are something very relevant within (and beyond) GAP2.
We shared our aims of being effective within our case-studies, and we learned the fundamentals of how to work together with social scientists to better understand the human basis of fishing. To build new knowledge with fishermen.
And now sorry, the pasta is ready, prosecco wine is on the table. It’s time to go…

(Italy is now loosing 13-0 against Scotland… the GAP2 Italian delegation is a bit sad (even Mark, whose mother is from the south Italy, Naples) but let’s see what happens… we are waiting for the cuttlefish with potatoes…)

Italian fishermen liked to talk and learn from foreign experts and share their beliefs and explain their complaints of “Bruxelles” and the top-down fisheries management approach. From Martin and Kari’s workshop on policy uptake of participatory research we learned that working together is not implying that any result will be incorporated into new management schemes. It means we need to better focus on who will receive our results, how to give them value (as a “nice gift”, well packaged) and support their use.

Participation means not to cut the link between those people who walked together searching for a better place; it means to remember all the faces (and life, and history) of those we meet and what we shared. Allowing policy makers to give values to this journey, and participate to find this “better place” together!

(Italy is now 3-13 against Scotland, not a nice match. So far…)

Putting our effort towards a common goal is something new, somehow. Especially when engaging different people like stakeholders, scientists and fishermen, it is not an easy task. It’s a tiring job, but this is what we need to do. Outcomes are, somehow, less important than the process itself. But encouraging results can open new worlds, new perspectives.

(Oh, the second half of the match. Enjoy!… Ohoh.. We were badly defeated… better to think about the nice workshop we had…).

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