Participatory research in times of COVID-19 and beyond: Adjusting your methodological toolkits

Claudia Sattler, Jens Rommel*, Cheng Chen, Marina García-Llorente, Inés Gutiérrez-Briceño, Katrin Prager, Maria F. Reyes, Barbara Schröter, Christoph Schulze, Lenny G.J. van Bussel, Lasse Loft, Bettina Matzdorf, Eszter Kelemen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Solving grand environmental societal challenges calls for transdisciplinary and participatory methods in social-ecological research. These methods enable co-designing the research, co-producing the results, and co-creating the impacts together with concerned stakeholders. COVID-19 has had serious impacts on the choice of research methods, but reflections on recent experiences of “moving online” are still rare. In this perspective, we focus on the challenge of adjusting different participatory methods to online formats used in five transdisciplinary social-ecological research projects. The key added value of our research is the lessons learned from a comparison of the pros and cons of adjusting a broader set of methods to online formats. We conclude that combining the adjusted online approaches with well-established face-to-face formats into more inclusive hybrid approaches can enrich and diversify the pool of available methods for postpandemic research. Furthermore, a more diverse group of participants can be engaged in the research process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-73
Number of pages12
JournalOne Earth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2022


  • corona pandemic
  • participatory methods
  • social-ecological research
  • transdisciplinarity


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