Accessing, sharing and using development research information: The role of intermediaries
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Euforic/Concord meeting, 6 June 2007 - Presentation by Catherine Fisher, IDS

Euforic/Concord meeting, 6 June 2007 - Presentation by Catherine Fisher, IDS

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Accessing, sharing and using development research information: The role of intermediaries Accessing, sharing and using development research information: The role of intermediaries Presentation Transcript

  • Accessing, sharing and using development research information: The role of intermediaries Fruit for thought from IDS Catherine Fisher Euforic AGM: June 2007 www.ids.ac.uk
  • Institute of Development Studies: a 3 legged stool
    • Research
    • Teaching
    • Information
  • www.ids.ac.uk 60+ staff, 1/3 IDS income, 180,000 visitors/mo A whole family of knowledge services to help development research and knowledge reach those who can use it to reduce poverty and injustice.
  • Let’s talk about fruit
  • How does the fruit get to the happy consumer? Supply chain made up of multiple: actors (producer, picker, packer, driver, middle men, shop worker) transport methods (trucks, boats etc) , distribution channels (wholesaler, supermarkets etc)
  • But what if there isn’t a demand for fruit? Different roles eg: Providing home delivery of fruit Creating more interesting formats for fruit (juices, pies) Creating a fruit eating culture!
  • Why talk about fruit? Fruit is an analogy for research findings Its not a perfect analogy but helps to think about the different actors in the supply chain between research producers and ultimate intended research consumers – often people making decisions on development policy and practice
  • In some cases research findings go directly to the intended consumer Lots of reasons eg: Consumer not interested in that research and/or at the time Research producers not always effective communicators Research producer doesn’t have right connections But often they don’t – why?
  • Roles for I&K intermediaries in this chain – adding value
    • Leveraging access to research
    • Collecting research - acting as a repository
    • Organising research
    • Summarising, synthesising
    • Raising or advocating issues
    • Active communication with key audiences
    www.ids.ac.uk Like in the fruit supply chain, there are a wide range of intermediaries playing different roles and connecting with other actors
  • Attendees at recent K&I intermediaries workshop
    • The fruit idea was discussed at a recent meeting of 10 people from 10 organisations who play an intermediary role who met with IDS people in Brighton in May 07. They were (service in bold ):
    • Economic and Social Research Foundation, Tanzania - Tanzania Online
    • Philippines Institute of Development Studies - Social and Economic Research Papers – Philippines (SERP-P)
    • D-Net Bangladesh - Bangladesh Development Research Network
    • African Institute for Capacity Development, Kenya Poverty Alleviation Information Knowledge System (PAIKS)
    • Healthlink International, UK - Source
    • Global Development Network, International - GDNet
    • UNESCO, International - HIV and Education Clearing House
    • Euforic – you’ve heard of that!
    • Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa Service forthcoming
    • Centre for Science and Environment, India - Service forthcoming
  • From this the I-K-Mediary Working Group was born
    • The I-K-Mediaries Working Group is an emerging group of development actors who involved in providing information and knowledge services.
    • Broadly these services share a common purpose: to improve the usage of information – in particular research findings - by people making decisions about development policy and or practice
    “ I was struck by how similar our purposes were, and how different our approaches”
  • Our hunches
    • “ Intermediaries” are development actors too – their decisions are political
    • There are significant differences between these actors and other actors in more acknowledged fields
    • There are more and more of this kind of intermediaries
    • “ Intermediaries” in this context are quite invisible – even to themselves
    • Greater understanding of and connections between these kinds of roles would have a positive development outcome
  • General questions – things to chew on
    • What differences between information and knowledge intermediaries?
    • Can intermediaries ever stimulate change?
    • What is an intermediary anyway?
    • Are you a research intermediary? Do you know one?
    • Is this a useful idea?
    • Do you share our belief that an intermediary role is important?
  • Thanks for listening!
    • Hope this has provided you with fruit for thought.
    • For further info on this emerging thinking (which isn’t all about fruit) and the I-K-Mediaries Working Group please contact me at [email_address]
    • A report from the recent intermediaries workshop will soon be available.