Communicating scientific research to policy makers and other stakeholders by N. Geeson and J. Brandt
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Communicating scientific research to policy makers and other stakeholders by N. Geeson and J. Brandt

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What do policy makers and other stakeholders want to know about scientific research? How can researchers provide information without sounding too technical? See how we approached this problem

What do policy makers and other stakeholders want to know about scientific research? How can researchers provide information without sounding too technical? See how we approached this problem

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  • The DESIRE Project Harmonised Information System (HIS) can be accessed directly, or through the DESIRE Project website <br />
  • The HIS has the main menus at the top (Home, Overview, Policy, Themes, Study sites, Archive) and sub-menus at the side. <br /> The Overview, open in the illustration, has sub-menus listed in red on the left hand side. The Overview menu includes background on Desertification, the DESIRE project and related projects on desertification. DESIRE publicity includes brochures, newsletter and press releases, and information from conference and events. Then there is International Collaboration, Relevant European projects, and also a section on Facilitating dissemination. As well as the Manual of Communication and Dissemination, practical guides to involving stakeholders and using dissemination media are to be found here. <br />
  • The HIS menus and sub-menus can be accessed through different linked pathways. For example, the work of WB3, Prevention and mitigation, both in general terms and relating to individual study sites, can be accessed either through the Theme menu or the Study Site menu. <br />
  • The main substance of the HIS is to be found within the Theme and/or Study site menus. This example shows an Overview of field experiment design for all study sites. As this is quite detailed it is accessed as an Article below a more general introduction on Field experiments, which is a submenu of the Theme [WB4] Implementation and monitoring <br />
  • The Overview of field experiment design for all study sites is accessed as an Article below a more general introduction on Field experiments, which is a submenu of the Theme [WB4] Implementation and monitoring. Scrolling down this Article reveals a tool that answers the question: “What technologies were implemented in which study sites?” For each Study site (in a list) the Technologies implemented will appear in a pop-up box. Alternatively, for each selected technology (in a list) the Study sites implementing that technology will be shown. <br />
  • The Harmonised information system is now multi-lingual. An on-line translation facility has been added, making it easier for study site leaders to translate all the material relating to their study site into their local language. Already there are pages in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese. Once the English version of each page is finalised, the study sites can work on the translations at their own pace. <br />
  • Newsletters and press releases can be viewed or downloaded from the DESIRE publicity menu, within the main Overview menu <br />
  • This example of a DESIRE booklet looks at salinization, based on results from the DESIRE Greek and Russian study sites. This can be downloaded from ** and is written in non-scientific language to provide information for a wide range of audiences, from decision makers to schoolchildren. <br />
  • The HIS uses a range of presentation methods to capture the interest of a wide range of readers. Power Point presentations are accessible through the HIS and are a good way of summarising information pictorially <br />
  • The HIS uses video clips as an effective summary of key points, with further detail available in documents either made downloadable or formatted for easy reading on-line. <br />
  • Training for stakeholder involvement and dissemination is very important, so that optimum use can be made of DESIRE results and products. This includes the theory of good participatory methods as well as practical advice on, for example, how to make a video or how to write a press release. These examples can be accessed through the Facilitating Dissemination menu within the main Overview menu. <br />
  • The DESIRE Project Harmonised Information System (HIS) can be accessed directly, or through the DESIRE Project website <br />

Communicating scientific research to policy makers and other stakeholders by N. Geeson and J. Brandt Communicating scientific research to policy makers and other stakeholders by N. Geeson and J. Brandt Presentation Transcript

  • COMMUNICATING DESIRE SCIENCE TO COMMUNICATING DESIRE SCIENCE TO POLICY MAKERS POLICY MAKERS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS Dr. Nichola Geeson Dr. Jane Brandt MEDES Observatory for economic problems associated with desertification in Mediterranean areas, Potenza, Italy
  • People who work on the land, or anyone who makes decisions on how the land can be used in a sustainable way, need a sound basis for their actions Karapinar, Turkey Cauquennes, Chile F. Van Hulst N. Geeson Beans and maize in Cape Verde
  • Novy, Russia Scientific research built up over the last 20 years can add to traditional knowledge, - to provide a wealth of practical experience to guide such decisions A. Zeiliguer risk under olives Novy, Russia C. Kosmas But what are the best ways of sharing practical, sustainable and new ideas? of desertification Calculation
  • M. Ouessar A. Zeiliguer A. Laouina Stakeholders are more confident to promote or try new ideas if they see evidence of success demonstrated in scientific experiments
  • A newsletter published by the DESIRE project - a project funded by the European Union’s 6th Framework Program ‘Global Change and Ecosystems’ Newsletter 2010 - 2 Info-brief 2 A publication from the DESIRE project - funded by the European Union’s 6th Framework Program ‘Global Change and Ecosystems’ Sustainable Land Management enhances our living soils DESIRE reports on a third year of progress In this issue: News from the plenary meeting in Morocco Study sites are busy combating desertification with new strategies, - so how is it going? Selecting strategies cycles, local conditions, and the choice of strategies available to suit the local context. Standardised questionnaires were used for appraisal and evaluation. Then through a second workshop the WOCAT technologies database and an on-line decision support tool provided an output of the most promising technologies. Monitoring 2010 - 2 Newsletter 3 Scientists and stakeholders learn to listen to one another Knowledge exchange is the key to sustainable action . C , t a r P , D R I © By stakeholders we mean everyone who has an interest: from farmers to national policy makers, from schoolchildren to the UNCCD. The DESIRE Project has included a series of stakeholder workshops in all study sites. This has allowed full discussion of ideas to combat land degradation and desertification, many of which are now being trialed on experimental plots. Local stakeholders are involved in monitoring the trials where possible, and all stakeholders will be invited to consider the evaluation of success, and contribute to future recommendations. The most rewarding workshops are where there is full support for seeking sustainable options from a wide range of people. It is important to try and include a range of ages and standards of education, and as many women as men. J. Gkioukis Each page is from a DESIRE study site partner: University of Aveiro, Portugal (Mação site); Democritus University of Thrace, Greece (Nestos river basin); University of Botswana (Boteti site); L'Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), France (Cointzio site, Mexico); Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecurarias (INIA), Chile (Secano interior) Edited by Nichola Geeson, July 2010 For more information and contact details see: • The DESIRE Harmonised Information System: www.desire-his.eu and DESIRE website: www.desireproject.eu The DESIRE project (2007-2011) is funded by the European Commission, VI Contact DESIRE coordinator: Coen.Ritsema@wur.nl Framework Program, ‘Global Change and Ecosystems’ and brings together the Contact DESIRE Communications: ngproject3@googlemail.com expertise of 26 international research institutes and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This project is implemented by ALTERRA - research institute for the green living environment in the Netherlands. Copyright and Disclaimer: Regular resting of rangeland allows vegetation and soils to recover from grazing Resting rangeland in Béni Khédache,-El Athmane, Tunisia The synergies between soil biodiversity and sustainable land management mean that any action that conserves water and improves soil quality will also enhance soil habitats. The DESIRE Project is developing strategies to remediate land degradation in dryland areas. The following examples demonstrate how these strategies maintain or enhance soil biodiversity. In Médenine, Tunisia areas of rangeland left without grazing for 3-5 years improve the plant cover and diversity for the next period of grazing. This helps to avoid land degradation from overgrazing. An increase of infiltration, soil organic matter and runoff control are secondary benefits. Overgrazing can result in desertification in Tunisia 1 A publication from the DESIRE project - funded by the European Union’s 6th Framework Program ‘Global Change and Ecosystems’ H ow s hould scientists ap proach al l the stakeholders that can contribute to ensuring that the research has practical uses? How can the interest of the stakeholders be maintained? The DESIRE Project (www.desire-his.eu) is extending this approach to a number of regions around the world, with a range of land uses affected by desertification. An important benefit of sustainable land use is the maintenance or improvement of biodiversity. New initiatives such as the EU’s Biodiversity Information System for Europe will help improve the integration of Land degradation in dryland areas dramatically affects the biological diversity of landbased ecosystems. This is because of the effects on plant organic matter, plant roots, and organisms in the soil: like termites, moles and earthworms, fungi and bacteria. This living system below the ground determines the biological diversity of land above the ground, and ultimately land productivity and other benefits that land provides. The opinions expressed in this newsletter and on the website are those of the DESIRE project consortium and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission. www.desire-project.eu/disclaimer Overgrazing can result in desertification in Tunisia 1 dg © el A l eR uB I O, m e c a With the strategies chosen, the emphasis is now on establishing trials and field experiments, and monitoring to see how successful the measures will be. Every study site has completed a detailed Site Implementation Plan. At the recent plenary meeting in Morocco, project partPromising ideas ners prepared posters to illustrate their Each study site arrived at a list of two strategy testing in each study site, and or more measures to try out. Although these can be viewed in the Harmonised the technologies themselves may not be Information System on the DESIRE new, the innovation is in matching the website at http://tinyurl.com/cx47u technology to the local context. On cropland the strategies included Many of the study sites are monitoring minimum tillage, terraces, drip irriga- physical variables such as meteorotion, mulching, vegetation strips, water logical data, soil moisture, soil water harvesting and gully treatment. All quality, erosion by water or wind. These these approaches concentrate on making measurements will help to provide the most of a scarce water resource and evidence of the effects of different protecting the soil surface from erosion treatments and practices. At the end of by water and wind. On rangeland this the first growing season, the success of might be achieved by less intensive the harvests under different treatments grazing schemes and planting of suitable give a preview of the likely success of shrubs. Details of the WOCAT system the complete strategy. For example, in can be seen on the Harmonised Spain, water harvesting for cereals and Information System on the DESIRE use of a green manure in almond website: orchards are working well. http://tinyurl.com/yzpsw2b A summary of the strategies being Stakeholders cannot all visit the evidence for themselves, - but the evidence can be presented to them on a website, or in attractive factsheets, booklets, policy briefs, posters, video clips, etc., - all in non-scientific language, and preferably in their native language Nestos, Greece trialled in DESIRE is given on page 3. achieve this provision sustainably, it is important to promote a balance between activities such as agricultural production, and respect for nature and the environment. The EU’s legal framework for Rural development 2007-2013 emphasises the need for better integration of agricultural and environmental policies. coherent land use policies and synergies around the world. dg © el A l eR uB I O, m e c a The main objective of the DESIRE Project is to work with land users and other stakeholders, finding new ways to tackle desertification and promote sustainable land management practices. Using a series of questions and discussions at workshops, scientist and stakeholders have been working together to suggest optimum solutions for local areas. Now, they are trying the strategies out, to see if good ideas in theory are also good ideas in practice. Last year scientists and stakeholders completed the process of selecting sustainable land management strategies in the 16 DESIRE study sites. They all used the same procedure developed by WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies). This meant that the strategies they chose would have a sound scientific and practical basis. At the first workshop scientists and stakeholders learned together about water and biomass We rely on land based ecosystems to provide important benefits for human livelihoods such as: our food, fodder for animals, construction materials, climate regulation and clean water. To The DESIRE Project shows how this can be achieved
  • Find out all about -h ire s DESIRE .de w w :/ /w p htt in the Harmonised Information System / .eu is
  • The main menus and sub-menus of the Harmonised Information System provide access to all DESIRE results, products and recommendations as they become available
  • Themes can be accessed through the Study Site menu as well as the main menu
  • Find a useful overview of the DESIRE field experiments to test strategies to combat desertification
  • This useful summary tool shows the technologies implemented at each site, or where any particular strategy is being tested
  • The Information System is now multi-lingual ... in Spanish ... in Russian ……
  • Newsletters and other products can be downloaded
  • An 8 page booklet on Salinization, was the first in a series of Infobriefs. Written in nonscientific language it will inform a wide range of audiences about the problems of salinization and how DESIRE research can help
  • The Information System provides access to PowerPoint presentations ……
  • and documents that can be read on-line or downloaded and video clips to summarise key points…
  • Training and practical instructions to disseminate recommendations further are accessible in various formats
  • Visit the DESIRE Harmonised Information System at http://www.desire-his.eu/