People in rural communities negotiate the effects of a changing climate, of markets and other events that affect their livelihoods. These contexts are often uncertain and risky, and the decision makers are vulnerable. This presentation shares experiences with rural communities in the Andes, and in Kenya, using a similar framework, to create information that is relevant to local decision makers, through a process that builds trust, by connecting local and scientific knowledge. One experience focuses on translational research for information on innovations, while the second focuses on community processes to understand sources of vulnerability and potential practices that contribute to adaptation and resilience. Participatory research approaches aim to build human, social and political capitals while producing salient information for local decision makers. These cases used techniques that acknowledge potential gender, ethnicity, life cycle, and vulnerability status. The cases are set up to compare outcomes across landscapes shaped by agroecological conditions, markets, and policies.