Welcome to Impact 2 point 0!

This website will be used to plan and discuss capacity building activities on new mechanisms for communicating research for policy influence.

Policy development is a complex process and there are many reasons why even the best arguments backed by solid research can fail to be heard or to be acted on. Decision makers are barraged with conflicting demands, often supported by contradictory evidence, making it difficult for independent researchers to even be heard. Low levels of public understanding of and interest in policy issues, lack of political will, bureaucratic inertia, and counter arguments promoted by interests with their own agendas in mind further complicate the scenario.

At the same time, we live in an era in which the use of interactive web-based services and applications, including social networking sites, media sharing sites, wikis and blogs, is experiencing explosive growth. Research on the impact of these Web 2.0 technologies and services emphasizes the impact they are having on people’s social lives, on political action and on industries such as advertising and media.

Anecdotal evidence abounds on the websites of organisations using or promoting Web 2.0 to influence elections, public opinion and policy. But researchers, activists and policymakers are only beginning to explore the use of online social networking in the various stages of the policy influence process and there is a distinct lack of formal research into the theme. What are the attitudes of researchers and policymakers to Web 2.0 tools and services? Do they use them? Are they willing to? Have researchers had practical experience using interactive web-based technologies to disseminate their research or to promote discussion of it? Can researchers and policy makers harness the power of crowd-sourcing to improve their understanding of policy issues and solutions? What tools might be best-adapted to the task?

Impact 2.0: Collaborative technologies connecting research and policy is an IDRC sponsored research project that seeks to develop a body of knowledge about the use of Web 2.0 in policy-oriented research and design in Latin America and the caribbean and to identify, document and promote good practices and emerging opportunities related to the use of collaborative technologies for linking research to policy.

In order to achieve this goal Impact 2.0 has three components.

  1. The first includes three pilot projects (in Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay) which seek to combine to combine current theory on the relationship between research, policy and advocacy with advances in Web 2.0/Social networking technologies and practices.
  2. The second is a fund to support research into the use of Web 2.0 tools and behaviours to link research and policy.
  3. The third will be a series of online and face-to-face capacity building activities in the Caribbean.

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