At the recently held “Maxmising the impact of agricultural research in Africa: A workshop on research communication” in Addis in October, a number of ways of capturing, documenting and sharing the workshop were carried out. These are becoming available though a number of different channels–read on for ways to find these resources.

Peter Ballantyne, President of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialist (IAALD), was not only a participant at the recently held “Maximising the impact of agricultural research in Africa: A Workshop on research communication” but played an active role in documenting the workshop through blog posts as well as blips (small video clips) of interviews with various organisers and participants in the workshop.

You might be interested to see some of the material from the workshop at:

These comprise a series of short blog stories with links to some short video interviews taken by Peter in Addis.
Everything is listed from this page: http://iaald.blogspot.com/2008/10/stories-from-addis-research.html

Additionally, I-Nadia took hundreds of photos to document and share with you what was going on at the workshop and who was there. The photos are available online using the Flickr account of the KS project at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8764209@N07/sets/72157608287846090/

Furthermore GDN has been updating a few sections on the workshop briefing page on the GDNet website (http://www.gdnet.org/middle.php?oid=1492 ) and added the workshop agenda online with links to all material shared at the workshop (http://www.gdnet.org/middle.php?oid=1564 )

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As part of learning about and trying new tools and approaches to communication, as well as wanting to share with others out there about the workshop- some of the organisers and participants will be blogging on the event- “Maximising Impact of Agricultural Research In Africa: A Workshop on Research Communication” which starts today- October 21st- at UN ECA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The workshop is being organised by IFPRI, WBI, GDN and ICT-KM.

Check out this space for more posts on the event.

Also check out the IAALD blog at http://www.iaald.org/

The “Maximising Impact of Agricultural Research In Africa: A Workshop on Research Communication” set to take place October 21st and 22nd in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is being organised by IFPRI, WBI, GDN and ICT-KM.

To start the interactions amongst the participants, A DGroup has been set up.

The DGroup has already been used to:

  • upload documents, links and other resources
  • enter events in and around the workshop into the calendar
  • update profiles of the people in the group
  • send messages to the group

While useful and necessary information has started to circulate amongst the group via the DGroup, it has also seen a flurry of messages where people have introduced themselves.

Sue Canney-Davison, facilitator of the event, has also begun to post some interesting questions about everyone’s work and experiences on research communication and their expectations for the workshop… with more to follow in the days before the workshop.

  • The first question posed was: Let us know who you are”
  • This was followed by: “To whom do you normally communicate research, or would like to communciate research?”

Further questions circulating in the group include:

  • Can you share a little about the research communication work you are currently involved in?”
  • “What tools or medium are you working with and who are you communicating to using these?”

The responses are coming in-with everyone getting to know each other and starting to share their work and ideas:

For example: Brigitte Nyambo, Head Technology Transfer Unit, ICIPE- shared with everyone

WHO AM I?
My name is Brigitte Nyambo, A BSc agriculture graduate from the University of Dar es Salaam Tanzania, MSc Applied Entomology and PhD Imperial College University of London; An IPM Specialist, has been pushing the R4D wheel barrow since 1994. Currently I head the technology Transfer Unit at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) based in Nairobi-Kenya. Webpage: http://www.icipe.org

TO WHOM DO I NORMALLY COMMUNICATE RESEARCH FINDING?
I communicate with and to scientists at international, regional and national levels, farmers, extension workers (regional and national), policy makers (international, regional and national), journalists (international, regional and national), students and development agencies

The response to the DGroup as a mechanism for communicating and sharing for this workshop has also been positive:

Jean Paul Ntezimana from Rwanda wrote:” Dear All, I am happy to find this communication tool between our group. Thank you to join and share ideas, hope to meet you next week.

For more information see http://www.gdnet.org/middle.php?oid=1492

The “Maximising Impact of Agricultural Research In Africa: A Workshop on Research Communication” being organised by IFPRI, WBI, GDN and ICT-KM (KSinR Project) is set to take place October 21st and 22nd in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Robert Zoellick of the World Bank recently proposed that funding for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research should double in the next five years. However, research by itself does not necessarily lead to change either in the field or at the policy level. How can this link be strengthened?

This workshop will explore in detail how research institutes working in agriculture can maximize the impact of their work through enhanced communications, effective partnerships, and useful knowledge management strategies and initiatives.

For more information see http://www.gdnet.org/middle.php?oid=1492

The Knowledge Sharing in Research(KSinR) project has been invited to participate in and provide support to the organisation of a workshop on effective use of research communication entitled: “Maximising the Impact of Agricultural Research in Africa: a workshop on research communication” organised by GDN, ODI, WBI and IFPRI. The workshop will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 21st and 22nd of October 2008.

To find out more:

Rationale and Background
Agricultural development in Africa is regaining attention, particularly in the recent light of food security challenges. The World Bank and other donors, as well as African initiatives such as NEPAD, FARA, AGRA, etc. are investing major resources to stimulate agricultural production across essential food staples and commodities for both agribusinesses and smallholder farmers. Research and technological advancements represent a key to enhanced productivity and are also receiving much attention. In fact, Robert Zoellick of the World Bank recently proposed that funding for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research should double in the next five years. However, research by itself does not necessarfily lead to change either in the field or at the policy level. How can this link be strengthened? This workshop will explore in detail how research institutes working in agriculture can maximize the impact of their work through enhanced communication efforts.

The Global Development Network (GDN) has partnered with the World Bank Institute (WBI), African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Bellanet , Busoga Rural Open Source and Development Initiative (BROSDI), Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), and Centre d’Analyse des Politiques Economiques et Sociales (CAPES), to organize workshops (held in Cairo, Kampala, Johannesburg, and Ouagadougou) to build the capacity of African research institutes and networks to better understand and apply the tools and approaches of knowledge management, thereby strengthening their research communication initiatives. The focus of these events was to share experience and insights on the challenges faced by research institutes in managing the knowledge that they are generating so that they can strengthen their operations and offer better services to their clients.

Given the focus that agricultural research in Africa is getting, the need to communicate that research to the people who need it the most – policymakers and practitioners – is even more critical. The proposed workshop is an opportunity to take a concrete step in this direction.

Workshop Objectives
  • To examine past efforts at partnerships, peer learning and experience sharing and to explore the causes of success and failure.
  • To develop the capacity of staff in improving the impact of the research being produced by their research institutes and universities, and to examine how this has been done by their peers.
  • To facilitate the sharing of knowledge among key research institutes and to discuss ideas on how to strengthen this exchange.
Sponsors and Organizers
Participants

The workshop is designed to accommodate about 35 from major research institutes, universities, and networks in Anglophone Africa focusing on agricultural research and policy analysis.

Selected applicants may qualify for grants to cover travel and other expenses.
The workshop will be in English only.

Program

A detailed program will be drafted shortly. The workshop will be a two-day interactive learning event followed by a day that will comprise a field visit, separate meetings, and other activities.

Application Process

Deadline for application: September 7th, 2008
Download call for participation More
Download Application form More

The application must be completed and sent by email to:
Ronald Kim, Rkim@worldbank.org
Enrique Mendizabal, E.Mendizabal@odi.org.uk
David Spielman, mailto:md.spielman@cgiar.org
Shahira Emara, semara@gdnet.org
Download application form.
(http://www.gdnet.org/pdf2/africa_program/application_form_addis.doc )