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WEBINAR | DEC 2017 | Retranslating Research for Practice - Sarah Begg


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In September 2017, the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN) held its annual conference on the topic of "Equity and Energy Justice" at Durham University, UK. As a follow-up to this conference, we held two webinars to share highlights from the conference.

The first webinar focussed on energy justice. This month, we examined a second theme from the conference, and focused on questions of how academic research can best have impact at the grassroots of energy access and productive use, how that "knowledge gap" can be closed, and what some of the most effective solutions might be for ensuring that research can be applied effectively and equitably.

The speakers included Practical Action's Sarah Begg, who has been leading a participatory learning study with LCEDN looking at how academic research impacts the grassroots. She will be joined by her colleague from Practical Action's Bangladesh office, Iffat Khan, who will present some of the specific outcomes and experiences of the study in Bangladesh. Finally, the Smart Villages Initiative will share the global perspectives they have been able to gather on bridging academic research and making it relevant to energy access practitioners, entrepreneurs, and rural communities.

Sarah Begg, Global Knowledge and Learning Officer, Practical Action
Iffat Khan, Knowledge and Business Development Specialist, Practical Action Bangladesh
Dr Bernie Jones, Co-Leader, Smart Villages Initiative

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WEBINAR | DEC 2017 | Retranslating Research for Practice - Sarah Begg

  1. 1. Re-translating research for practice Sarah Begg Practical Action
  2. 2. Two colliding worlds, one common problem: Uptake  Academic world: pressure to demonstrate impact of research tangibly  NGO world: Under continuous pressure to evidence what works to leverage scale up
  3. 3. 3 As for research uptake:  Appropriateness  Availability  Accessibility
  4. 4. Appropriateness: Need to think more creatively about who potentially can use research: - Audience mapping: - Who could potentially use this research? Tool: Personas, audience maps - Early stakeholder engagement: - What do they need to know? - HOWEVER, you don’t know what you don’t know - What are their communication preferences Tool: Focus groups, Semi-structured interviews, Systems mapping
  5. 5. Availability: “There is enough knowledge in the world to solve our greatest problems” • What knowledge already exists, and what form does it take: • Academic literature • NGO papers • Policy papers • Private sector-led research Knowledge is highly fragmented, is it a matter of capture and re-formatting? If it is a gap, is there a practice need? And, how can this be useful for practitioners?
  6. 6. Accessibility: Who is currently being excluded and whose voice counts? • Language: translation, sectorial jargon • Pay walls vs Open source • Applied and participatory: • Knowledge isn’t just written: • Voice • Visual • Participatory • Life beyond the print run! • Follow up with stakeholders • Beneficiary feedback • Dissemination is key
  7. 7. We believe: “There is enough knowledge in the world to solve our greatest problems, but if we fail to learn and get the knowledge to right people at the right time and in the right format we will never succeed” Case study: Low Carbon Development Network and Practical Action Energy Access in Kenya and Bangladesh: - Stakeholder mapping - Needs identification - Communication preference mapping - Capture and reformat - Follow up
  8. 8.  In your experience, what has been the most successful approach to ensure research is used in practice?  What has not worked? And, why!  Is research really useful for practice?  Is it really answering to needs?  How can it be applied by practitioners?  How can practitioners influence the research agenda? Discussion
  9. 9. Thank you Global Knowledge and Learning Officer Policy and Practice