USER Research aims to support efforts of pursuing sustainable and just societies. It is a pursuit because sustainability is a dynamic tension between environmental changes and social development at multiple scales that continually re-distributes benefits and involuntary risks. It is also a learning situation where we discover the limitations of what we know, and what we can decide, through research or practice alone. Our research is guided by four overarching or cross-cutting themes: knowledge, governance, gender, and resilience.
We selected the acronym USER because it reflects our philosophy of trying to do the highest quality research we can while keeping the needs of users, whether decision-makers or action-takers, in focus. The Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER) is formally hosted by the School of Public Policy at Chiang Mai University (CMU), Chiang Mai, Thailand.