Ideally, decision-support tools should be co-produced by the beneficiaries alongside researchers [Leach & Scoones, 2013] to increase their efficacy and implementation by and for those who need them most. Involvement and input from a diverse range of stakeholders and beneficiaries is therefore vitally important, especially since complex disease systems like KFD require cross-sectoral management. One of our first steps is to identify the key organisations, communities and individuals involved in governance of land use, human and animal health in forests at different geographical scales (village, district, state) to develop research capacity and a policy interface for understanding and mitigating zoonotic diseases in India.
To achieve these aims we are conducting multi-scale, cross-sectoral stakeholder workshops to engage with stakeholders in an iterative and inclusive way and ensure that all relevant stakeholders are involved in this research, from its framing to implementation. Experts from the agriculture, animal husbandry, education, forestry, policy and public health sectors across Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, and Maharashtra who are knowledgeable about managing zoonotic diseases such as KFD will be invited to participate in stakeholder workshops to jointly conduct stakeholder mapping, problem framing and knowledge integration exercises and to experiment with the spatial decision support tool.
The report from our first stakeholder workshop, held in Bengaluru in August 2018.