Increasing Research Impact through Communications

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Increasing Research Impact through Communications

  1. 1. Maximizing the Impact of Research through Communications Klaus von Grebmer International Food Policy Research Institute Penang, March 26, 2009
  2. 2. Quality of research Quality of communications Impact
  3. 3. Research Findings Potential Beneficiaries ?
  4. 4. Communications How? What? With whom?
  5. 5. Academia Policymaker Adviser Media Public Opinion NGOs
  6. 6. Readers of “science news” in the U.S. <ul><li>± 12% of U.S. adults are “attentive” to science stories </li></ul><ul><li>Another ± 44% are “interested” </li></ul><ul><li>Most know and understand very little science </li></ul><ul><li>± 50% know how long it takes Earth to orbit the Sun </li></ul>Source: U.S. National Science Foundation
  7. 7. Facts and Perceptions <ul><li>Federal Budget on Foreign Aid </li></ul><ul><li>Median estimate 20% (more than 20 times the actual amount) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 5% estimated the right amount </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Severe misperception in all demographic groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Among those with post graduate education the median estimate was 8% </li></ul></ul>Source: PIPA Americans on Foreign Aid and World Hunger. A study of U.S. Public Attitudes, February 2001
  8. 8. Facts and Perceptions <ul><li>What the public proposes as appropriate (10% - 14%) is much larger than the actual expenditure </li></ul><ul><li>Overwhelming majorities are supportive of efforts to alleviate hunger and poverty </li></ul>Source: PIPA Americans on Foreign Aid and World Hunger. A study of U.S. Public Attitudes, February 2001
  9. 9. Communication Needs <ul><li>The right “message” (content) </li></ul><ul><li>The right form </li></ul><ul><li>The right person </li></ul><ul><li>The right time </li></ul>
  10. 10. Entering Hillsville Founded 1734 Altitude 430 Population 4800 Total 6964
  11. 11. “ But this is the simplified version for the general public!”
  12. 12. Next 10 Miles
  13. 13. Food Policy Research Results <ul><li>Confirm actions taken were appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Indicate actions needed to reduce risks/costs or increase benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Show ex ante outcomes of alternative policies </li></ul><ul><li>Show how other policymakers coped with an issue (synthesis) </li></ul><ul><li>Alert policymakers to major threats </li></ul>
  14. 14. Brown syrup in sparkling water 1987 - You Can't Beat the Feeling 2001 - Life tastes Good 2009 - Open Happiness
  15. 15. Canvas and rubber? “ Just do it!”
  16. 16. <ul><li>A ttention </li></ul><ul><li>I nterest </li></ul><ul><li>D esire </li></ul><ul><li>A ction </li></ul>
  17. 17. Interest of Media <ul><ul><li>Politics, health, sex, sport ... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Change </li></ul><ul><li>Controversy </li></ul><ul><li>Counterintuitive </li></ul><ul><li>Actuality </li></ul><ul><li>Being First </li></ul>
  18. 24. The Expert The Insider The Interested The Layperson (general public)
  19. 25. Food Policy Report The Insider Issue Brief The Interested Research Report The Expert Press Release The Layperson (general public)
  20. 26. In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language. Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain

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