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Communicating research for re saksss safari park 26 june 2012


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African Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS)
Strategic policy analysis 24 06
by African Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) on Jun 27, 2012 Edit


ReSAKSS-AfricaLead Workshop on Strengthening Capacity for Strategic Agricultural Policy and Investment Planning and Implementation in Africa
Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, June 25th‐ 26th 2012

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Communicating research for re saksss safari park 26 june 2012

  1. 1. Communicating scientific research Technical reports, policy briefs and making presentations Anne Marie Nyamu Consultant Science Editor/Writer 26 June 2012
  2. 2. Outline• Communication: Brief overview• Writing technical reports• Summarising reports• Policy briefs• Oral presentation• Designing a PowerPoint presentation• Things to remember
  3. 3. Communication: Brief overview
  4. 4. Why communicate?• Good research/assessments/evaluations… – alone are insufficient to have impact; findings must be communicated to the right people – merit good communication• Goal = impact
  5. 5. Communicating scienceScientific communication is:• Accurate• Targeted at a specific audience• Clear• Brief• Logical
  6. 6. Four questions to consider• Who do you want to reach?• Why do you want to reach them?• How do you reach them?• What are your main messages?
  7. 7. Writing style tips• Targeted to specific audience• Clarity: convey exact meaning• Conciseness: fewest possible words• Continuity: logical, complete story• Objectivity: be factual/honest
  8. 8. Writing technical reports
  9. 9. Technical reports• No absolute rules• Flexibility to suit readers• Short as possible without losing essence• Objectives identify what is covered• Most important person is the reader
  10. 10. Good technical reports• Precise, informative title• Well organised layout and format• Style: accurate, fluent and concise• Figures and tables well presented and clearly labelled
  11. 11. Format of technical report• Title page• Acknowledgements• Summary• Table of contents• Introduction/terms of reference/scope• Procedure
  12. 12. Format of technical report (2)• Findings• Conclusions• Recommendations• References/bibliography• Appendices
  13. 13. Summarising reports
  14. 14. Summarising reports“Sorry for this long letter, I had no time towrite a short one.” Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662•Why summarise a report?•How do you summarise a report?(elevator pitch; used with investors)
  15. 15. Three sentencesSummarise your story in three sentences:• Problem• Solution• Results
  16. 16. Three sentences: Example• Problem – Farmers in Zimbabwe find it difficult to sell goats, so they are not interested in raising them• Solution – The project has introduced an auction system that gives farmers a good price for their animals• Results – As a result, farmers in 10 villages are now investing in goat raising
  17. 17. Three sentences: Example• Problem – Schools in District X lack basic facilities such as classrooms, desks and textbooks• Solution – The project is encouraging parents and local people to get involved in managing the schools• Results – In five schools, parent associations are now helping build classrooms and raising money to buy textbooks
  18. 18. Policy briefs
  19. 19. Policy briefsWhat is a policy brief?• Succinct presentation of a problem, its context and recommendations• Goal: to prompt change
  20. 20. Policy briefsTwo types:• Advocacy – argues for a particular course of action• Objective – balanced information for policy maker to decide on course of action
  21. 21. Structure of a policy brief• Title • Body• Authors • Evidence• Summary • Examples (boxes)• Recommendations • Tables and graphics• Background • Conclusions • References • Supporting information • Acknowledgements
  22. 22. Characteristics of a policy brief (1)• Focused on achieving purpose – Language, design, argument, evidence…• Professional – Not academic – Focus: what research findings mean, not how research was done• Based on evidence – Rational argument – Show consequences of recommended action
  23. 23. Characteristics of a policy brief (2)• Limited – Focus on a particular problem or issue• Succinct – Short and sweet – 2 pages (700 words) to 8 pages (3000 words max)• Easy to understand – Clear, simple language – No jargon
  24. 24. Outline for policy brief• What is the aim of the policy brief?• Which issue will best capture audience attention?• What background information does audience need?• Which data are most important to include for audience?• What are the policy options? (if appropriate to aim)• What recommendations will you make?
  25. 25. Oral presentation
  26. 26. Oral presentation• Types: PowerPoint slides, posters, giving interviews, answering questions, panel discussions• Four steps: – Plan – Prepare – Practise – Present
  27. 27. Making a presentation• Audience• Plan and rehearse• Stress important point• Speak clearly• Enthusiasm• Avoid distracting actions• Prepare for “the unplanned”
  28. 28. Delivering the message• Include major points of presentation – Introduce the point – Explain and support – Transition quickly and smoothly to next point• Give examples• Provide all sides of the issue• Don’t waste time• Summarise
  29. 29. Designing a PowerPoint presentation
  30. 30. Preparing PowerPoint slides• Simple• Limit bullets, text and animations• High quality graphics• Avoid PowerPoint templates• Appropriate charts• Colour
  31. 31. Typeface• Solid block (sans serif)• Larger font size for titles than text (36 points, 20 points, 28 points)• Upper and lower-case letters• Use colour, bold, or italics for emphasis
  32. 32. Layout• Generous margins• Text and image: 75% of space• Start at the top-left corner• Most important information at the top• Flush-left text• Consistent format
  33. 33. Avoid heavy content• 6 words per line• 6 lines per slide• 36 words per slide
  34. 34. Example slides
  35. 35. Gender equality in KenyaAccording to the recent reports from theKenyan Ministry of Labor, 72% of part-timeworkers in Kenya are women. This is thehighest rate reported to date. The number ofpart-time workers has been increasing formany years. For many women, full-timeemployment is not available or their familyobligations make it impossible for them to keepfull-time hours. Below are some comments onthe issue:“The Kenyan office environment is not yetconducive to promoting full gender equality”Senior LecturerNairobi University ADAPTED FROM: WWW.PRESENTATIONZEN.BLOGS.COM
  36. 36. Most part-time workers are women Men Women ADAPTED FROM: WWW.PRESENTATIONZEN.BLOGS.COM
  37. 37. Objectives• Identify and test production technologies for increased fish productivity• Increase knowledge and skills base of small-scale fish farmers
  38. 38. Task• Working in country groups, choose a topic• Design a cover slide and two content slides• Be ready to present to the group15 minutes
  39. 39. Things to remember
  40. 40. Importance of communication To have impact, your work must be communicated to the right people
  41. 41. Critical steps to rememberBefore you communicate: • Clarify your message • Target your audience • Strategise your approach • Practise speaking • Disseminate widely
  42. 42. Anyone can learn effective communication. The more you do it, the better you get.
  43. 43. References• For summarising reports and policy briefs• Klaus von Grebmer, Suresh Babu, Valerie Rhoe and Michael Rubinstein. Communicating food policy research: A guidebook. IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute)