A Shift in Evidence

An integrated approach to evidence would appreciate a range of data and insights are useful at different stages and speak to different audiences. Quantitative data can declare what works, ethnographic insights can reveal why things don’t work. Indigenous knowledge can navigate the interdependent relationships in a complex system and creative practice can bring lived experience and imagination to how that system could be made more equitable. This kind of diversity of data allows for a spherical understanding of the social, cultural, ecological and historical research context and potential emergent future solutions.

It can only be a bonus to have different ways into sense-making, interpreting, analysing and storying what is unfolding in an unpredictable dynamic system. Yet for these plural perspectives to meaningfully inform each other a level of disciplinary generosity and intellectual humility is needed. Only then can we get to a place where the; quantitative economist can come to value the stories the ethnographer gathers, or a partner collaborates with an academic to ensure the validated survey tool is mindfully adapted to respect the lived experience expertise of community.