Thursday, December 20, 2007

Extending a consultation on DFID’s research strategy

In 2007, the Department for International Development (DFID) developed a new research strategy, for which it launched a public consultation.

Beginning in September, Euforic was contracted by DFID’s Central Research Department to publicise the e-consultation process; extend the reach of the consultation to Southern research suppliers, users and knowledge intermediaries; and enable feedback and interaction among different elements of the consultation process.

This was a small project that utilized 1) the power of some new ‘social’ media to capture contributions and 2) the reach of existing networks beyond DFID’s immediate orbit.

The main ‘tools’ used were a blog and a Dgroup. Email and RSS alerts for the consultation were set up using Feedburner.

We started by ‘populating’ the blog with the various consultation questions, announcing these widely, then encouraging people to contribute their thoughts and experiences using the ‘comment’ functionality of the blog.

We identified networks and groups likely to be interested in the issues and to be willing to re-disseminate information about the consultation and the questions to their stakeholders. We also contacted some groups in developing countries asking for similar outreach and encouraging them to organize a small national consultation if desired.

120 comments were contributed on the Blog/Dgroup. Two organizations also contributed substantial papers with comments:

- DNet Bangaladesh
- Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa.

All of these contributions were brought together into a report and provided to DFID.

See R4D consultation page

Visit the blog.

Sign up for updates on the DFID research strategy consultation