By Lisa Deutsch and Sabine Hoffmann
How can the integration required in large inter- and transdisciplinary programs be effectively led? What challenges do leaders of integration in such programs face and how can they address them? What are the particular challenges in using a theory of change as an integrative tool?
We describe five key challenges that we encountered when leading the integration for a large 10-year inter- and transdisciplinary research program, which explored novel non-grid water and sanitation systems that can function as comparable alternatives to conventional large network-based systems. We experienced these challenges when applying the tool Theory of Change to facilitate communication, collaboration and integration among the team members (for more on theory of change see the i2Insights contribution by Heléne Clark). We also share the strategies we employed to address these challenges. The lessons we developed are likely to be applicable to other inter- and transdisciplinary research programs.