Desktop/Literature Synthesis

Desktop literature synthesis allows the Resiliency by Design Lab to set the foundations for exploring future research questions. When conducting a synthesis, three main phases emerge. First, we work on a broad, systematic literature review. In Phase 2, purposive sampling is used to identify core articles for further analysis. Phase 3 involves integrating the reviewed information into an analytical framework for assessment. Identifying research gaps in the existing literature allows the RbD and others to design future projects and studies that address these gaps.

 In applying this approach to youth wellbeing in the context of energy resource extraction, for example, we identified gaps in how climate change activities may not address the needs and interests of youth. This includes their lack of representation in planning and policy initiatives and how consultation processes might unintentionally exclude them by their structure (e.g., consultations scheduled during school time; approaches that use digital platforms and channels that youth tend not to use). In this way, the summarization of existing literature and related adaptation practices may highlight missing voices (i.e., youth, Indigenous peoples) and the need for intersectional perspectives and approaches to research.

In the context of our focus on building for climate action, conducting a literature synthesis enabled the review and consideration of multiple perspectives and projects to identify interrelationships to create broadened, holistic research questions concerning climate adaptation. For example, a study by Cox et al. (2018) assesses gaps in the literature in bridging biological, psychosocial, and economic perspectives on youth wellbeing within the context of energy resource activities.