ACCESS ‘Guiding Principles’ – An Overview
1. What are our Guiding Principles?
The ACCESS programme has three Guiding Principles:
- Environmental Sustainability (ES)
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
- Knowledge Co-production (KCP)
These three principles play two key roles within ACCESS. Firstly, to act as a common, intertwined, thread running through, and stitching together, different parts of the programme. Secondly, to inform, shape and guide all ACCESS activities.
2. Why are these Guiding Principles important?
Successfully tackling climate and environmental challenges – such as biodiversity loss, sustainable use of resources, and decarbonisation – will only be achieved if we actively include diverse voices in both the design and delivery of solutions and if we reduce the environmental impacts of our own research practices.
3. Who produced these Guiding Principles and who are they for?
The ACCESS Guiding Principles team, with input from the wider ACCESS community, have been responsible for defining and articulating the programme’s Guiding Principles Version 4 (Versions 1-3 formed draft and consultation versions, with Version 4 being the first public iteration of the Guiding Principles). They have been developed in the first instance to guide the activities of all those working on the ACCESS programme and/or those who form part of the wider ACCESS community.
However, we also hope these Guiding Principles will be of interest and use more broadly across the wider Environmental Social Science research, policy and practice communities. Lessons learnt from putting these principles into practice by those involved in ACCESS and beyond will be used to collectively reflect upon and refine the Guiding Principles and the processes of how and when to implement them. As such, successive versions will be more widely co-produced.
4. When should these principles be incorporated into ACCESS-related activities?
It is our ambition that those working on the ACCESS programme and/or those who form part of the wider ACCESS community will embed ES, EDI and KCP considerations and practices into their ACCESS-related activities, and where possible, in work-related activities beyond ACCESS. The principles of ES, EDI and KCP should be embedded into ACCESS activities at the earliest opportunity and on an ongoing basis. We recognise that doing so will be challenging and take additional time, effort and resources. This additional time needs to be planned for, particularly for initial attempts to change practices.
5. How might these Guiding Principles be incorporated into ACCESS-related activities?
These pages have been developed to take those working on the ACCESS programme and/or those who form part of the wider ACCESS community, through the process, step-by-step, of how to incorporate these principles into ACCESS activities. In developing the Guiding Principles, we have been keen to ensure they are not too restrictive or prescriptive. These pages should not, therefore, be viewed as a rule book – rather they are intended to act as a gentle prompt to think and do things a bit differently. We hope these pages can help ACCESS colleagues and ACCESS community members to orientate and navigate what can be new and challenging terrain.