This is a report of a research communications lesson sharing workshop, organised by DFID 's Central Research Department and held in DFID, London during August 2007. The workshop was attended by representatives from 23 RPC, 4 M&E and Communication Specialists and 6 DFID staff.
The workshop follows-on from one held in 2006. Both workshops had the main objective of providing networking opportunities for RPC and to share lessons on processes for getting research into policy and practice. The second workshop focused on Monitoring and Evaluation and Capacity Development.
General discussions around research communication raised a number of points. Two critical ones being:
- The need to develop a framework that integrates research, communication and development values, to allow a common purpose.
- The need for a shared vision of purpose between researchers and those whose primary role is communication, when developing and implementing a communication strategy.
Some felt that DFID had a potential role in facilitating partnerships between those working in research and in advocacy.
Discussions on monitoring and evaluation were broad but came back to one central issue - attribution and impact. There was a recommendation that DFID should develop a common framework for assessing and understanding what is impact - especially in research programmes. Emphasis was also placed on the need for a greater knowledge of stakeholders and in-depth stakeholder analysis, for increasing the uptake of research finding and the monitoring and evaluation of this uptake.
On capacity development, discussions were broad and ranged from debates on terminology through to practicalities of implementing a research programme and whether or not we're building the capacity of 'institutions', or individuals. However, capacity building models appropriate in one context are not necessarily successful when transferred to another context. Feedback on the workshop was generally positive. RPC partners see these as valuable learning events and especially for networking across different sectors. Such a workshop provides a forum for research partners to share experiences - both positive and negative - and for DFID to hear these.
DFID-CRD. Lessons learned in research communication: monitoring and evaluation and capacity development. (2007)