Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Collaboration, Communication and Climate Change

Copenhagen, 10 June 2009. Today's Euforic workshop was convened in view of the forthcoming COP 15 Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009. It was hosted by NIAS in Copenhagen.

After Ramesh Jaura, President of Euforic and Director of IPS Europe introduced the theme, we heard from NGOs, research organisations and think-tanks on the issue of 'Collaboration, communication and climate change'.

Ramesh explained that, before the Rio conference on environment and development in June 1992 (UNCED), development was considered in a different way, being funding and project based; the phrase "sustainable development" emerged from the conference. Since then, more and more NGOs and researchers started to explore the implications of climate change. In Bali, organisations like Third World Network took part in the negotiations representing Southern views.

Four Euforic members - IDS, the DiploFoundation, CABI and DIIS presented their work, this was followed by an overview of other Euforic members.

DIIS presented their climate subweb, including their involvement in the Commission on Climate Change and Development, their work on climate adaptation, REDD studies on Forest conservation, and the DIIS reports on low carbon development. They have also produced a thematic issue of the Danish language journal Den Ny Verden. [see presentation]

DiploFoundation shared their work on training and communication towards diplomats and other foreign affairs professionals.

The training begins online, it is followed by an online collaborative policy research case and placement in policy organizations. During this process, participants create a community of practice online. This approach is unique in its combination of online and face to face activities; it empowers people as influencers of change, it merges CoPs that make a difference, and includes those in the south that otherwise wouldn’t have access. Now the question is how this approach could serve the climate change process. As a cross cutting field this has a broad appeal.

Alan Stanley presented IDS knowledge services communicating research on climate change and development.

He highlighted three projects: LCA, Community Based Adaptation Exchange and Africa Adapt. The purpose of these different communications initiatives is to ensure that more decisions are evidence-based. The IDS approach is based on the following elements: expertise, diversity, learning, engagement and partnership. Partnership is the most important, as IDS initiatives are just one of many initiatives; working together instead of duplicating efforts is the take away message [see also this video blip with Alan]

Martin Parr from CABI presented their work on communicating research using the Research4development portal.

First they had built a collective database of all DFID funded research together with links to other websites containing the information. At it’s heart lies 5000 projects and 20000 outputs cross linked by themes, countries and actors. As a second step, they turned the site into a service focused on reaching the desktops individuals. This means for example presenting types of information by audience or presenting thematic pages including feeds from DFID communication partners. The information is made more accessible through the use of RSS. To promote this information, a news service fits on top, using for example blogs to discuss research communications and the launch of the new DFID research strategy.

Lastly, Chris Addison gave an overview of the activities undertaken by Euforic members in the different areas they are working, from advocacy to research, from meetings to communications strategy, from online new services news to training.

See also a previous blog post highlighting some of these issues.

Subscribe to the Euforic AGM 2009 newsfeed.

See also Euforic newsfeeds on climate change; information/knowledge, and from the 2009 annual workshop.