MAZI Deliverable Report D2.4: Design, progress and evaluation of the Deptford CreekNet pilot (version 1)

Davies, Gareth; Stevens, James; Gaved, Mark; Clayton, Paul and Adams, Anne (2016). MAZI Deliverable Report D2.4: Design, progress and evaluation of the Deptford CreekNet pilot (version 1). MAZI Consortium, Volos, Greece.


This deliverable reports on the design, progress and evaluation of the MAZI pilot conducted in Deptford, London by The Open University and SPC from May to November 2016 (months 5 to 11 of the MAZI project). This pilot study explores how the MAZI approach and toolkit might support the resolution of local sustainability challenges encountered by groups and individuals working and living in and around the Deptford Creek area, in south east London (UK). Within MAZI, this is described as the initial Community Engagement phase of the CreekNet pilot study (Phase 1).

We report on the progress by referring to Holliman et al.’s 6P’s - six principles of engaged research (In Press; 2013). Originally designed to help universities plan and reflect on public engagement with research, adhering to the 6Ps ensures we don't simply impart wisdom to publics through one-way forms of communication but that we seek to involve multiple stakeholder perspectives, engaging communities as equal partners and considering how the research is likely to impact our community partners. In Phase 1 of our pilot the 6Ps resonates with the MAZI approach of seeking to work alongside local communities and have helped guide us towards achieving the following:

● ‘Preparedness’: identifying local contexts, understanding of the challenges to be faced, the researchers’ preparations for dealing with these challenges
● ‘Politics’: understanding the local social and political contexts in which the research would be carried out
● ‘People’: identifying the people that will be involved or affected by the work: the researchers, the community partners with whom we engaged, other community participants, others affected by the work
● ‘Purposes’: clarifying the aims and objectives of the research from the perspective of MAZI, the participants involved and other stakeholders
● ‘Processes’: pinning down the approach, methods and techniques that would be followed by the research team
● ‘Performances’: considering what was found and the extent to which this met the objectives of the research

By referring to the 6Ps, the sections that follow provide an overview of the pilot context and an outline of the design processes undertaken, drawing on participatory action research approaches. We introduce the pilot team and the potential community partners which we initially identified, and describe their high level concerns. This is followed by an overview of the pilot design, taking a participatory research approach, considering community mapping, and undertaking community engagement and outreach events.

We then overview the evaluation of progress made in relation to these community engagement activities, and report on what we learnt regarding the purposes of MAZI from the perspective of our community partners. We describe how we have used the early prototypes of the MAZI toolkit, and reflect on insights from community partners that emerged from the pilot process so far that have implications for specific development needs for Creeknet pilot, and appear relevant for the project at large.

Finally the report ends with a discussion of the extent to which we have met the objectives of Phase 1 and concludes with an outlook to the plans we have for the following Phase 2 of the pilot that we will undertake in months 13-18.

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