CAAST-Net Plus on Communication and Dissemination
"This report, which reflects critically on the CAAST-Net Plus experience, is aimed primarily at the funders of EU-Africa research and innovation networks, who invariably have to make decisions about what communication and dissemination activities are worth supporting," says report co-author Gerard Ralphs.
"But it is also aimed at programme managers, network coordinators, and communicators, who might be interested in learning from or benchmarking their approaches and practices against the CAAST-Net Plus experience."
The report is the result of a collaboration between *Research Africa (based in South Africa) and the Centre for Social Innovation (based in Austria), who lead the communication and dissemination work of CAAST-Net Plus.
The development of this report took place over two stages, the authors explain in their methodological notes. An interim self-assessment report was developed as a discussion tool for CAAST-Net Plus partners and for the purposes of developing a conceptual framework. A survey was then undertaken to gather additional data from CAAST-Net Plus stakeholders, and usage analytics from the CAAST-Net Plus website and social media platforms were collected and reviewed.
In addition to a detailed assessment of the types of communication approaches and dissemination tools used by CAAST-Net Plus, the report presents six "lessons learned", which cover key aspects such as audience, technology, and quality control.
Its most important message, however, is that communication and dissemination are socially embedded.
"It is important to invest in face-to-face meetings among partners and with stakeholders as it is abundantly clear that social bonding is critical to successful partnerships," says CAAST-Net Plus coordinator Dr Andy Cherry.
"Social bonding is addressed outside the formal work environment. Projects ignore it at their peril. Partners need to have fun together."
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Disclaimer: CAAST-Net Plus is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n0 311806. This document reflects only the authors’ views and the European Union cannot be held liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.