Toward effective actionable science: stakeholder needs assessment

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A major goal of the Climate Science Center network is to conduct science and develop timely science products and tools that are directly relevant and useful to decision-makers and natural resource managers. A crucial first step in producing this actionable science is understanding the highest priority science and information needs of natural resource managers and planners.  
Through this project, the Southwest Climate Science Center will conduct a structured rapid assessment to identify and understand manager needs and priorities in the Southwest region. The project team will also work directly with managers and stakeholders to assess their perceptions regarding the co-production of science and preferences on science-practitioner partnerships, communication and engagement. The team will also assess the need for training and extension work that would enable managers to better use science products. Components of the assessment include listening sessions, one-on-one interviews, a survey, and focus groups.
The process of conducting this needs assessment, as well as the information gathered, will enable the Southwest CSC to foster stronger relationships with key managers in the region and to become more responsive to the real-world needs of decision makers. In addition to a synthesis report summarizing the findings, the project team will also develop a guidebook documenting a repeatable process for assessing stakeholder needs and will hold webinars with stakeholders to convey the results. 

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