Communications and knowledge sharing for an open research project

by , October 13, 2011

Category: Featured, News

This post was co-written by Christine Prefontaine & Melody Clark.

The Global Impact Study’s approach to communications and knowledge sharing has been evolving since the project started in 2007. Initial efforts focused on building a list of people and organizations who might be interested in the project (or who might act as “knowledge multipliers” — spreading the word for us), laying out our research design, and keeping folks up to date about new studies, early research outputs, and where we are in the process. You can download a current snapshot of the strategy.

Now it’s time to start thinking about how we’re going to package and disseminate findings. Specifically what types of formats and products are useful for donors, decision-makers, practitioners, and other researchers. At first glance, there are three broad categories of outputs, all of which will appeal to different people:

  1. Meta” & Process — Updates about how we’re working, why we made the decisions we did, etc. This content often remains invisible but it’s really important because it captures learning about how to design, implement, and get the most out of a project of this scope. And sharing this stuff is a key to doing open research. [This post falls into this category.]
  2. Assets — A lot of good tools, instruments, protocols, and methodologies get created when doing research. Again, important to the “how,” to learning, and to building research capacity. These are practical outputs that can be adapted to conduct future research efforts.
  3. Findings — These are the research outputs. They come in two flavors: “raw” (data) and “value added” (articles, reports, presentations) — with analysis and recommendations. This is the new knowledge generated over the last five years. Our goal will be to present this in a way that’s useful — for decision-making, for advocacy, as a basis for more research and learning.

We’re going to stop developing our strategy as a document that gets passed around internally. We’re going to open it up and post it live — in a new “Knowledge Sharing” section on this website. We hope that you’ll take a look and provide us with feedback and suggestions. And, as always, we encourage you to use what we’ve created and build on it.

Stay tuned!



About the author

Christine is a strategist, design thinker, and knowledge sharing and communications advisor with 12 years of international development experience. Her work focuses on ICTD, health, democracy and governance, and economic growth projects — create compelling content, connecting people and ideas, designing strategies, managing teams and implementation, facilitating problem solving, and sparking innovation. Christine writes about things open, participatory, and delicious at Facilitating Change and is a champion of innovation grounds: libraries, telecenters, coworking, hacker spaces, fablabs. Prior to working with TASCHA, she worked for Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the University of Maryland, and Deloitte’s Emerging Markets Group. Christine has an MA in Public Communication from American University.

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