Collaborate, Create, Communicate

Research’s “missing link”: the communications budget

On Tuesday, at the Share Fair in Rome, Rob Burnet presented an inspiring keynote speech entitled “How can we make agriculture more attractive to young people in Africa”.

From the Share Fair blog:

“Rob Burnet leads Well Told Story, a multi-award-winning Kenyan communications company which pulls together comic books, syndicated FM radio, SMS, social media, web, video animation, strategy and science to help change the way people live, think, act and govern in East Africa.”

To the delight of the Share Fair audience Burnet offered that inadequate budgets for communication could be the missing link in research! Using Hollywood as an example, where 30% of budgets are spent on publicity, he lamented that agricultural research doesn’t always succeed in delivering great ideas that final step into the hands of beneficiaries. In an interview after the presentation (see clip posted below) he said:

“The reason we do this work is to change the life of poor people, if we stop short of making those brilliant ideas… accessible to those they are intended to benefit – let’s go home…”

This is a message that the communications community will no doubt welcome! However, in the meantime there are lots of ways to make sure CGIAR research outputs are Available, Accessible and Applicable.  The Triple-A Framework developed by the ICT-KM Program seeks to help Centers, Programs and their scientists decide on the level of Availability, Accessibility and Applicability (AAA) they want for their research outputs, and also the pathways with which to turn these outputs into International Public Goods.

For a complete introduction to the Framework see “Availability, Accessibility and Applicability of the CGIAR Research Outputs