Why bother with research communications

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A brief presentation setting out the importance of communicating research on international development effectively

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  • Innovations to take account of an environment where multiple perspectives vie for attention, new ICTs offer opportunities for speeded up and simplified messaging, ever more sophisticated marketing techniques from the private sector make demands of an academic world which is running to catch up and networks of interest groups.
  • Complexity of these connections and the importance of moving beyond the simple linear model where communication is seen a one-way ‘dissemination’ process that happens at the end of a research project.
  • Working alongside a network of partners in the global south, our work seeks to use impactful and cutting-edge communications to amplify of local knowledge and marginal voices, alleviate poverty and increase social justice in an era of rapid and dynamic change. KNOTS communications work also forges alliances with intermediary partners such as media organisations, online knowledge platforms, international conference organisers and civil society networks in order to increase the reach and audiences for our work. 
  • Complexity of these connections and the importance of moving beyond the simple linear model where communication is seen a one-way ‘dissemination’ process that happens at the end of a research project.
  • Converting tacit knowledge into evidence…
  • Converting tacit knowledge into evidence…
  • Why bother with research communications

    1. 1. Why bother with research communications?<br />James Georgalakis, Communications Manager <br />
    2. 2. “Development studies is research committed to improvement. Knowledge generation is not an end in itself”<br />Molteberg and Bergtrom<br />
    3. 3. Our vision is a world in which poverty does not exist, social justice prevails and sustainable growth promotes human wellbeing. We believe that generating, mobilising and sharing knowledge, through research, teaching and communications, plays a key part in realising this vision. <br />
    4. 4. Factors affecting research uptake<br />Political context and power relationships<br />Gaps between researchers and research users <br />Southern research capacity<br />Research uptake and changes in people’s lives<br />Effective research communication<br />Character and credibility of evidence<br />
    5. 5. What is research communications?<br />Research communication is defined as the ability to interpret or translate complex research findings into language, format and context that non experts can understand.<br />It is not just about dissemination of research results and is unlike marketing that simply promotes a product. Research communications must address the needs of those who will use the research or benefit from it.<br />
    6. 6. Effective research communications<br /><ul><li>Distillation of research findings
    7. 7. Use of plain language
    8. 8. Making information accessible
    9. 9. Tailored communications for different audiences
    10. 10. Identification of the needs of the target groups:</li></ul>Consider technical barriers, language and cultural factors etc<br />
    11. 11. Links between researchers and research users<br />Knowledge producers:<br />Academics, researchers <br />Knowledge intermediaries:<br />Journalists, bloggers, consultants, academics, comms specialists, NETWORKS<br />Knowledge users:<br />Policy makers, politicians, NGOs, communities<br />Policy & practice change and impact on people’s lives<br />
    12. 12. Communication not as Dissemination…<br />but as engagement<br />
    13. 13. Research Communications – a Network of Participants and Beneficiaries<br />Researchers <br />Journalists<br />Donors<br />NGOs and practitioners<br />Civil society organisations<br />Policy makers<br />Governments<br />Individual beneficiaries<br />All have different communication needs!<br />
    14. 14. ‘Communication’ throughout research project Informing: <br />Research agenda<br />Methodological choices<br />Comms strategy<br />
    15. 15. Key questions a research communications strategy should answer<br /><ul><li> Desirable outcomes – what will success look like?
    16. 16. Identification of audiences – who do we want to influence/inform and what do we know about them?
    17. 17. How can we involve intended users of research from beginning?
    18. 18. Who is best placed to communicate with each of the identified target audiences and what are the appropriate communication pathways?
    19. 19. Timescale – When will be the best time to influence policy/practice?
    20. 20. Resources for research communication – what might we need?</li></li></ul><li>Summary<br />Research is not an end in itself - it can influence policy and improve people’s lives<br />Many factors determine whether evidence informs policy – research communications is crucial to this process<br />Effective dissemination of research means tailoring your communications to your audiences’ needs<br />Research communications involves a complex network of knowledge producers, intermediaries and knowledge users<br />Research communications is a two way process happening throughout the life of the research project<br />

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