Being an influential researcher requires you to be good at research – of course that goes without saying - but also an excellent communicator! As basic as it sounds, it is often the reason why robust research fails to be looked at or acted on and thus researchers fail to make a bigger impact with their work.
It is increasingly not enough for scholars to be methodologically thorough and to produce robust and objective research. To be effective, they need also to be proficient communicators who can engage policymakers and the media with their results and its implications for wider development debates.
With this in mind, a special two-day GDNet Research Communication Training Workshop will be held in Budapest, Hungary, prior to the GDN 13th Annual Conference. The Presentation Skills training, held on June 14-15, is designed for Awards and Medals finalists.
Delivered jointly with CommsConsult, the workshop aims to do two things: first to strengthen capacities to identify key messages and tailor research for different audiences; and second, to develop skills, confidence and a powerful presentation for each finalist to present to the Judging Committee and other scholars at the conference.
The training will showcase inspiration speakers and work with participants to develop principles of effective communication in the written and spoken word. It will use video-critique and peer review methods to improve the styles and build the confidence of participants to present their work in different forums, including at the Conference Ceremony later in the week. The training will also explore some of the social media tools to help researchers make their research travel to a broader audience.
Learn more about the GDNet’s Research Communications Capacity Building Programme
Check GDNet Research Communication Training for Awards and Medals Finalists 2010, Bogotá, Colombia
Megan set up CommsConsult wither her colleague Farai Samhungu in Zimbabwe in 1995 with the following mission statement: ‘to communicate clearly in a world full of noise’. She has since taken that message to clients including international and national NGOs, global research organisations, community groups; and numerous bilateral, multilateral, diaspora, educational and government organisations.
As Director CommsConsult’s UK office, Megan takes the lead on evaluation, workshop facilitation and training in all aspects of strategic communication. She has formidable experience of working at a policy level, recently completing three years as a part-time DFID Communication Advisor in the Research Department where she focused on strengthening the 'enabling environment' for research uptake. In this role she developed protocols and guidelines to help researchers systematise their communication throughout the research cycle to maximise uptake. She trained researchers and reviewed their Communication and Influence Strategies. She has conducted numerous evaluations of the policy influence of multi-country, multi-partnership research programmes and is enthusiastic about learning new approaches to engagement and effective communication. Her professional training and experience as a Science Journalist means that she is interested in just about everything, and convinced that there is a way to communicate even the most complex issues.
Zeinab is GDNet’s Research Communications Capacity Building Manager. She is responsible for organizing, designing and facilitating region-specific and thematic capacity-building workshops on research communications and writing for policy relevance (in Africa, Asia and Latin America). She manages the social media accounts for GDNet, including GDNetBlog and Twitter, as well as the regular update of the Africa and Latin America Windows on GDNet website.
Zeinab holds a Master degree in Political and Social Sciences from “Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Strasbourg”. She worked for Amnesty International EU Office where she was in charge of advocacy on human rights’ situations in Middle East and North African countries. She pursued another Master degree with a specialization in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies from the College of Europe. She was in charge of programs on smuggling of migrants in North Africa and Assistance to enhance access to justice and legal aid in the Arab region at the United United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa.
Pier Andrea Pirani
Pier is co-director of Euforic Services. He joined Euforic in late 2004 as project officer. He has been working on the main Euforic website involved in the different activities undertaken with members. In particular, he has been involved in training and supporting staff from development organizations in the use of web2.0 and social media tools, facilitating of awareness and training session and supporting users in implementing the new web tools into their daily work. He also uses the new web tools for social reporting in conference and face 2 face events.
Betty is CommsConsult’s Social Media Consultant. She is responsible for reaching and engaging audiences through a wide range of web2.0 platforms such as twitter, facebook, and blogs. She manages the social media accounts for a range of clients including DFID Research, raising the profile of more than 30,000 research documents housed on their research portal www.research4development.info . Betty has successfully built up the number of followers to the @DFID_Research twitter account to around 6,500, and actively engages with audiences that include policymakers, academics and development practitioners.
Betty has a postgraduate degree in film and has produced and edited a range of videos and ‘talking heads’ that communicate complex research issues on-line. She has helped the CommsConsult team to build up a ‘Communication Healthcheck’ for organisational websites and social media activities which are used to assess their effectiveness and efficiency in communicating the organisational mission and impact. She is enthusiastic about on-line media and information sharing, and passionate about the power of images to share information, sway arguments and assist in research dissemination.
Shahira is GDNet’s Online Service Coordinator responsible for developing the Knowledge Management Capacity Building Program in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia in coordination with the GDNet team, regional partners and coordinators from GDNet’s Regional Network Partners. Shahira is also responsible for processing the online registration of researchers on GDNet’s Knowledge Base, making amendments to existing profiles and supporting users ‘enquiries and the overall update and development of the GDNet portfolio of online services. She holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from Hult Internaitonal Business School in London. Prior to joining GDN, she worked at Project HOPE which focuses on planning and executing projects on educating health professionals, strengthening health facilities and training community health workers. Shahira also provides support to GDN’s Annual Conferences.
Maya is GDnet’s Thematic Content Editor. She holds a Masters degree in Applied Sociology, where she focused on Arab-Americans and theories of assimilation and acculturation, from the University of Texas at Dallas. She graduated from the American University in Cairo in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, International Relations and English Literature. Maya enjoys volunteering and has actively helped members of her community in both Cairo and Dallas. She recently joined GDNet and works on sourcing for development knowledge and social science research papers from the Global South. She also provides research summaries and writes abstracts to be added to the GDNet knowledgebase.