27 July 2007

Getting agricultural and natural research into use

In June, the DFID-finance Research Into Use (RIU) programme was launched.

"RIU’s approach is to shift the focus of attention away from the generation of new knowledge to the ways in which that knowledge can be put to productive use through innovation. By innovation we mean the use, adoption, uptake or commercialization of existing knowledge."

One of the six major themes of the RIU Programme is 'communication' - "Encouraging potential users to seek knowledge is at the heart of the strategy, which affords high priority to the role of ‘infomediaries’."

Developing a knowledge base on research is also important. One of the two major databases being prepared collects together 'Natural Resources Knowledge' from ten years of DFID-funded research (1600 projects). The outputs of these projects will be available in a user-friendly, easy-to-search database - and on CD-ROM.

Already, for information and communication professionals, the Programme has produced a booklet 'Spreading the word: knowledge management & dissemination' that brings together short summaries of 40 "tried-and-tested and ready-to-use results from DFID-funded research." Each summary links to more details in the CD-ROM and database.

To give a sense of the content, the outputs summarized include: Information market places for farmers; Farmer Field Schools; Managing research data; Capturing farmers' research demands; Tapping into fishers' knowledge; Software tool to develop and protect botanical resources; Livestock Guru as extension worker; Disseminating research results; Helping people access the information they need, and more...

[See all the booklets]


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