impact 2 point 0 New mechanisms for linking research and policy Wed, 07 Nov 2012 17:57:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Communicating research for influence – a guide Wed, 07 Nov 2012 17:54:39 +0000 coverThe Association for Progressive Communications (APC) has published Communicating research for influence: Strategies and challenges for bringing about change. APC reports that the guide is “based on our success stories and challenges in communicating research for influence” and that they translated their “knowledge and expertise into tips that other organisations or campaigners may find useful.”

APC writes:

Communicating research for influence is not easy. You might do everything right, and have all the pieces in place for a good communications strategy, but the timing of your research or campaign message might just be wrong – maybe you are years ahead of public thinking on an issue, or maybe someone else has offered a better approach. Often, there is more that stands in the way of good re- search being taken-up and popularised than what facilitates seamless communications. And, as has been implicit in most of what has been said here, research, like advocacy, is never really done. There is always more to investigate and more to refine.

The guide is available in English, French and Spanish.



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Online public consultation in Brazil – Interview with Fabro Steibel Thu, 06 Sep 2012 14:14:25 +0000

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) recently published an interview with Fabro Steibel, one of the authors of the chapter on online public policy consultations, Policy, research and online public consultations in Brazil and Uruguay, published in Comunica’s recent book, Impact 2.0: New mechanisms for linking research and policy. The interview, in Spanish only, is on the APC website.

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Educación 2020 – Interview with Eduardo Araya Thu, 06 Sep 2012 14:04:16 +0000 Educación 2020The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) recently published an interview with Eduardo Araya, one of the authors of the chapter on Educación 2020 published in Comunica’s recent book, Impact 2.0: New mechanisms for linking research and policy. The interview, in Spanish only, is on the APC website.

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Interview on Impact 2.0 Wed, 29 Aug 2012 15:20:40 +0000

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) recently published an interview with Bruce Girard, one of the editors of Impact 2.0: New mechanisms for linking research and policy. The interview, in Spanish only, is on the APC website. According to APC, they will soon publish interviews with Eduardo Araya, co-author of the chapter on Educación 2020 and Fabro Steibel, who researched the Brazilian case and co-authored the chapter on public consultations.

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Documenting challenges of the Blanchisseuse fishing industry Tue, 28 Aug 2012 13:10:42 +0000 The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and the University of the West Indies cooperated on a pilot project to use participatory video to help the fishers of Blanchisseuse, a small Trinidad and Tobago fishing community, document challenges of fishing in their community and share these with partners who can help them to address these problems. The project was produced with the support of a small grant awarded following the workshop Caribbean Impact 2.0: New mechanisms for linking research and policy, organised by Fundación Comunica and Panos Caribbean in February 2011.

The video was made during a two-day workshop at which eleven community members discussed, analysed, and documented the challenges they face, while producing this eight and a half minute documentary. The video was shot on mobile telephones.

The conclusions detailed in the workshop report include:

The participants were able to identify and document challenges they face in the fishing industry in Blanchisseuse and possible solutions to those challenges. They were also able to understand the process of making participatory videos to use as a tool for advocacy.

Participatory video is a tool that had several advantages for the Blanchisseuse community.   

  • The video helped to visually portray the challenges in the community to make them real to the audience.  There will be a larger impact when presenting the issues to the decision-makers with the video than presenting the issues without the video.
  • The video empowered the community by giving them a voice.  The video is an avenue that all the stakeholders can use to articulate their challenges.  Many community members are intimidated when directly addressing decision-makers but they are more comfortable expressing their opinions to their peers who are interviewing them.  
  • The video also empowered the community because the participants were the authors, directors, producers, videographers and editors of the video.  Participants said that they felt very proud of their work.
  • The video can also be used to take the community and its challenges to the decisionmakers. This allows the decision-makers to see the challenges without visiting the sites. It can save the decision-makers time as they do not have to visit the community to see and hear about problems.
  • The use of the video helps the community to simplify a complex story.  The video produced as part of this project was less than 10 minutes and was able to address both the challenges and suggest solutions to those problems.
  • Making the video was an interesting process of documenting the challenges in the community.  Many of the participants commented that they had fun during the two-days of video capture.



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10 data visualization tips Fri, 10 Aug 2012 15:58:24 +0000 The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has just completed a survey of the use of data visualization techniques to better communicate the results of the development research it supports. They looked at 330 docments (including academic reports, project reports, media publications, etc.) and the good news is that 48% of them included some form of data visualization. The not so good news was that “the majority of this visualization-use was focused on the insertion of charts and graphs into publications or presentation slides. There were very few examples of advanced visualizations, and none of the documents demonstrated truly innovative or ground-breaking design use.”

In addition to the study, IDRC also produced a short publication with 10 useful tips for data visualization. All the documents are available in English and French and the 10 Data Visualization Tips is also available in Spanish as 10 Sugerencias para la visualización de datos.

One of the visualizations evaluated was our interactive schematic visualization of the Impact 2.0 iGuide. It was done in Flash, which the report’s author, Amanda Cox, describes as “a poor way to display large amounts of text”. Commenting more specifically on the iGuide’s example, Cox says, “if you are interested in the entire guide it is difficult to remember which sections you have already visited. If you are looking for a specific piece of information, it’s not easy to copy it to your own notes, to share a particular section with a co-worker or to search the text for key words.” She adds: “Without strong links between the different sections of the guide, a well-designed list is much easier to browse and skim.”

Point taken. In our defense, however, the particular piece of Flash was not really intended as a navigation tool and we never intended the iGuide to be read cover to cover like a book. The iGuide is a wiki and its hyperlinked table of contents is more suitable for navigating its contents.

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Out To Sea on the Internet Wed, 07 Mar 2012 19:24:10 +0000 Out To Sea: The Decline of the Sea Egg Fishery is the title of a documentary film directed by Lyn Marie Davis of the MarGov Project.Lyn Marie was one of the participants at last year’s workshop “Caribbean Impact 2.0: New mechanisms for linking research and policy” and the video is the product of one of the small grants awarded after the workshop. It tells the story of how a multi-stakeholder approach to policy design is helping to sustain the sea urchin fishery in Barbados. The approach grew out of a research project undertaken by the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) and financed by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). 

Documentary | Out To Sea: The Decline of the Sea Egg Fishery FULL from Caribbean Webcast on Vimeo.

This documentary reports on a research project undertaken by the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) and financed by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

Directed by Lyn-Marie Deane
Director of Photography Richard Lynch
Produced by Caribbean Webcast Inc.
Project Management by Stronghold Entertainment

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Video: Linking research and policy Wed, 23 Mar 2011 21:59:17 +0000 Based on interviews and participant comments recorded during the workshop “Caribbean Impact 2.0: New mechanisms for linking research and policy” held in Kingston, Jamaica in February 2011, this video looks at why and how researchers communicate with policymakers, the media and the public.

The video includes comments from IDRC president, David Malone; Monte Solberg and Elizabeth Parr-Johnston, both members of IDRC’s Board of Governors; and Professors Hopeton Dunn and Kim Mallalieu of the University of West Indies in Jamaica and Barbados.

The workshop was organised by Fundación Comunica and Panos Caribbean in collaboration with the Telecommunications Policy and Management Programme of the Mona School of Business,UWI and with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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Social media: A guide for researchers Thu, 17 Mar 2011 19:48:25 +0000 Social media: A guide for researchersWe just came across this publication – it would have been useful for last month’s workshop on new mechanisms for linking research and policy…

Social media is an important technological trend that has big implications for how researchers (and people in general) communicate and collaborate. Researchers have a huge amount to gain from engaging with social media in various aspects of their work.
This guide has been produced by the International Centre for Guidance Studies, and aims to provide the information needed to make an informed decision about using social media and select from the vast range of tools that are available.

One of the most important things that researchers do is to find, use and disseminate information, and social media offers a range of tools which can facilitate this. The guide discusses the use of social media for research and academic purposes and will not be examining the many other uses that social media is put to across society.

Social media can change the way in which you undertake research, and can also open up new forms of communication and dissemination. It has the power to enable researchers to engage in a wide range of dissemination in a highly efficient way.

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Comunica launches Impact 2.0 iGuide Mon, 14 Mar 2011 18:13:22 +0000 Comunica logoFundación Comunica, together with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), has launched the Impact 2.0 iGuide: New mechanisms for linking research and policy, a guide designed to help researchers identify the right Web 2.0 tools for establishing links with policy makers, for building their online presence and credibility and for effectively communicating their research.

Written by Cheekay Cinco, Karel Novotný (both APC) and Bruce Girard (Fundación Comunica), the guide is designed for use by researchers and research organisations who want their work to support and influence public policies.

“E-government is moving beyond merely providing information or streamlining transactions and is increasingly using ICTs to involve stakeholders in virtual consultations, in communities of practice and in various other aspects of the policy process”, said Girard. “Researchers need to be a part of this and new online tools are becoming an essential part of every researcher’s communication toolkit.”

Impact 2.0 iGuideThe Impact 2.0 iGuide is designed in such a way that it guides researchers in finding the appropriate tools through identifying their specific communication needs and strategies. Its structure follows the “context, evidence, links” framework developed by the Research and Policy in Development Programme (RAPID) of the Overseas Development Institute for linking research and policy. The iGuide contains a brief introduction to Web 2.0 tools and a general overview of strategies for using these tools to link research, policy and advocacy. The second part of the guide includes a matrix of Web 2.0 tools listed in the context of the specific communication strategies they can support.

“We published the iGuide as a wiki to facilitate keeping it up-to-date in the constantly changing environment of Web 2.0 tools”, explained Karel Novotný. “It also makes it easy for anyone interested in contributing to future iGuide development to join the team.”

Researchers and ICT practitioners are encouraged to contact Fundación Comunica and to contribute to iGuide with their knowledge.

The development of the Impact 2.0 iGuide has been supported by International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

The Impact 2.0 iGuide is currently available in English. A Spanish version is under development.

Impact 2.0 iGuide:

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