Canadian Forest Service Publications

Facilitating knowledge transfer between researchers and wildfire practitioners about trust: an international case study. 2016. McGee, T.K.; Curtis, A.; McFarlane, B.L.; Shindler, B.; Christianson, A.; Olsen, C.; McCaffrey, S. The Forestry Chronicle 92(2):167-171.

Year: 2016

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 37172

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.5558/tfc2016-035

† This site may require a fee

Mark record


The importance of knowledge transfer between researchers, policy makers and practitioners is widely recognized. However, barriers to knowledge transfer can make it difficult for practitioners to apply the results of scientific research. This paper describes a project that addressed barriers to knowledge transfer by involving wildfire management practitioners from three countries in developing a trust planning guide. The guide provides information about trust, factors that influence trust and actions that can be taken to build trust in the context of wildfire management. The researchers synthesized academic research into a draft trust planning guide. Wildfire management practitioners and stakeholders provided feedback about the guide and discussed their own experiences in building trust in a workshop setting. The researchers incorporated valuable feedback from the workshops into the final trust planning guide. Benefits and challenges of this process are discussed, and the authors provide recommendations for researchers and funding agencies to facilitate the uptake of research by end-users.

Plain Language Summary

Wildfires around the world have caused loss of life and destruction of homes and communities in recent years. In response, management agencies are putting more emphasis on shared responsibility and partnerships with stakeholders and communities for wildfire protection. Stakeholder trust in management agencies is a key factor in building partnerships and delivering effective wildfire protection programs. This paper presents findings from a study that used an innovative approach to improve the uptake of science related to trust and fire management in diverse contexts. The project developed a trust planning guide by synthesizing literature on trust and trust building, and integrating it with on-the-ground experiences of fire management practitioners and stakeholders in Australia, Canada, and the United States. Incorporating practitioners’ and stakeholders’ experiences and knowledge provided insights on the barriers that limit knowledge transfer from researchers to end users and the importance of trust in fire management in different contexts.