CPWF believes that information and communication play an integral role in a research for development program. Agricultural development, for instance, depends to a great extent on how successfully knowledge is generated and applied and not just on generating new technologies. It has been recognized that communication happens at all stages of the research cycle and not just at the end when the research results are finalized.
The boundaries between the fields of communication and information management, knowledge sharing and ICT are increasingly blurred. Thus, CPWF sees communication and information as integrally linked. CPWF also recognizes the importance of strengthening effective internal communication in a research program as a pre-requisite to achieving and ensuring effective external communication. Information and communication encompass a broad range of practices and approaches to bring about positive change. It includes: information management, strategic communication, public relations, development communication, advocacy, and knowledge sharing.
As the diagram below shows, communication processes need to be embedded within the research for development cycles and not seen as just a by-product. Therefore, communication for development and research for development share the same goals and objectives in terms of trying to support changes that are foreseen.
|Area||Conventional Research Communication||Communication in Research for Development|
|Objectives||To inform and provide information||Change perceptions and behavior
Contribute to development process
|Targets||Researchers, scientists, academics||Multiple actors (farmers, planners, policy makers, private sector, NGOs, etc.)|
|Two-way multiple actors involved
Engaged and active
|Strategies||Publish in journals
Attend scientific meetings
Hand over information to media/public
|Strategic communication linked to changes in KAS of targets
Seen as part of the social sciences
Use multiple channels, products
Focused on use rather than production
|When||At end of research||Continuous process where communication is seen as a process for deriving shared meaning|
The overall goals of the information and communication are to:
- Strengthen internal information and communication systems – and mindsets – to support basins, projects and topic working groups to effectively carry out their work.
- Integrate strategic communication principles, tools and methods into outcome pathways of Basin programs and topic workings to support changes sought.
- Document outcomes and impacts of research in multiple ways to be used by identified target groups at different levels.
- Support to achieving CPWF’s goals in influencing the global development agenda by communicating research findings in ways that engage audiences, change mindsets and influence key decisions.
- Ensure the CPWF brand and identity is consistently used to maintain and improve the recognition of CPWF and the partners it works with.
The main targets of the CPWF communication and information strategy are shown below:
|CPWF ‘Family’||CPWF secretariat, Basin leaders, Topic Working Groups, CPWF board, Advisory Committee, donors, project leaders, project team members and partners
Focus on sharing and coordination
|Policy-infuencers||National, regional and international planners, who make policy and implementation related decisions
Focus on influence and providing evidence based options
|Secretariat, Basin and projects|
|Development investors||International finance institutions, bi- and multi-lateral donors
New approaches, tools and thinking to influence and develop programs
|Development Professionals||Intergovernmental, non-governmental organizations national and local governments, who use research results in their own work at different levels (i.e. IUCN, WWF, CARE, FAO, local projects)
Focus on tools, methods and approaches
|Secretariat, Basins and projects|
|Researchers and academics||National and international researchers and academics working in partner agencies
Focus on research results
|Secretariat, Basins and projects|
|Media||International, national and regional media
Focus on developing relationships to get messages out and inform public
|Farmers/fishers/ communities||Local groups in project sites, through boundary partners
Focus on advocacy and awareness raising campaigns
|Brokers, intermediaries||Critical group of ‘intermediary’ people who help to get knowledge adapted, translated and into use (media is part of this you could argue), specialize in communication and putting knowledge to use, process experts||Secretariat, Basin and projects|
To learn more read the CPWF Information and Communication Strategy.