The DFID Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (RNRRS) recognised the importance of communication for achieving research impact, and promoted good practice in various ways. A synthesis study across six of the RNRRS research programmes and their projects sought to assess the effects of their communication, and to derive lessons for improved practice. Approaches to communication strategies varied between programmes, but all had mandatory requirements to include communication within project design and implementation, and all provided support, such as guidelines and training, to fulfil these.
However, the strategic use of communication by programmes and communication practice by projects differed. Communication activities in projects that had a communication research element were more comprehensive, and provide valuable lessons for better practice. These projects emphasise the time, resources and range of specialist skills needed for effective communication since this relies on close engagement with stakeholders, on the development of useful and usable communication products, and on identifying and learning from practice to enhance individual and organisational communication capacity.
Communication for research uptake promotion: learning from practice, NRSP Brief, HTSPE Limited, Hemel Hempstead, UK, 6 pp.