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Science Communication Capacity Building needs for Pacific Non Government Organisations. Lawrie Kirk kirkfam2@ozemail.com.au. What does my research have in common with this fish?.

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science communication capacity building needs for pacific non government organisations

Science Communication Capacity Building needs for Pacific Non Government Organisations

Lawrie Kirk

kirkfam2@ozemail.com.au

slide3
Investment in scientific technical knowledge is lost if a recipient country does not have the ability to uptake, manage and embed the knowledge into their economy. The capacity challenge is fundamentally a governance challenge.

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTCDRC/Resources/oecd_challenge_of_capacity_development.pdf, page10

assumption
Assumption

Non Government Organisations (NGOs) can offer a viable alternative to bring about change that ensures local ownership without the risk of political influence.

But what about their needs?

unesco april 2007 report
UNESCO APRIL 2007 report
  • Policy advice towards capacity building needs strengthening;
  • Programmes must address new scientific paradigms and "cutting edge" research;
  • Interdisciplinary and intersectoral activities need major strengthening;
  • Science education should be a high priority;
  • The Intergovernmental/International Scientific Programmes need better coordination and synergy;

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001502/150264e.pdf p 8

unesco april 2007 report1
UNESCO APRIL 2007 report
  • Outreach and partnerships need improvement;
  • Rigorous and transparent selection, assessment and evaluation of programmes and projects are required;
  • UNESCO's leadership must be enhanced through new global initiatives; and
  • A science advisory committee is required

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001502/150264e.pdf

slide7
Goal

A Masters in Philosophy

(Science Communication)

Research Aim

The aim of my research is to identify the science communication capacity building needs of Pacific NGOs.

proposed benefits of my research
Proposed Benefits of my research
  • Provision to UNESCO of a new piece of research that addresses a current strategic issue for the Pacific ;
  • Increased coordination and information sharing between Pacific NGOs, UNESCO and science communication organisations;
proposed benefits cont d
Proposed Benefits (cont’d)
  • Realignment of either UNESCO Pacific activities in response to NGO strategic needs or realignment of Pacific NGO activities to cater for the new UNESCO direction;
  • Enhanced resources for Pacific science communication from other capacity building resourcing organisations; and
  • Increased accountability of the investment of science communication activities in the Pacific region.
where am i up to
Where am I up to….
  • Literature review √
  • Research methodology and plan √
  • Writing Background and first supervisor check √
  • Presentation at Conference (s) √
  • Interviews with Pacific NGOs √
  • Collation and writing √
  • Submission…………
unexpected happenings
Unexpected happenings…
  • Invited to review four new project management texts
  • Appointed Lead Trainer
  • Responsible for revision and accreditation of all company’s training courses
  • Financial tightening
  • Appointment as a Principal
what have i found out to date
What have I found out to date….
  • Capacity building ill defined
  • Huge need for science capacity – does this = science communication capacity?
  • Pacific Islands seem to not exist
  • A number of frameworks exist for NGOs outside Pacific
the pacific international water project iwp
The Pacific International Water Project (IWP)

“The Project is aimed at strengthening regional and national capacity building and providing lessons for best practices and appropriate methodologies for sustainable management of natural resources. [1]

[1] Stacey. N. et al. 2006, Ocean & Coastal Management 49 (2006) 610-626.

venture philanthropic partners vpp approach
Venture Philanthropic Partners (VPP) Approach

Source: Venture Philanthropy Partners, 2001, Effective Capacity Building In Nonprofit Organisations

vpp higher level elements
VPP – Higher level elements
  • Aspirations – statements such as the mission and vision that communicate the common organisational purpose and direction;
  • Strategy – a set of activities that the organisation undertake to fulfill the aspirations; and
  • Organisational Skills – referred to as the sum of the capability of the organisation including resource management, relationship

Source: Venture Philanthropy Partners, 2001, Effective Capacity Building In Nonprofit Organisations.

foundational elements
Foundational elements
  • Human Resources – the collective capabilities of the organisations’ staff (including volunteers);
  • Systems and infrastructure – systems used by the organisation plus any physical assets that they have; and
  • Organisational structure – how the governance is blended with the roles of staff and internal parts of the organisation.

Source: Venture Philanthropy Partners, 2001, Effective Capacity Building In Nonprofit Organisations

the binding element
The binding element

Culture – what connects the organisation with the values and practices.

The research undertaken for VPP by McKinsey & Company (the report authors) indicated that:

“…many nonprofits tend to think capacity building is limited to ‘technical assistance’ or improving the effectiveness of functions at the bottom of the pyramid – human resources or organizational structure, for example “ [1].

[1] Venture Philanthropy Partners, 2001, Effective Capacity Building In Nonprofit Organisations, p34

my goal
My goal
  • Define specific and practical tools from “outside” current science capacity building areas
  • Test them for Pacific NGO use
  • Show practical measures NGOs can use to develop, enhance and truly build their capacity in the area of Science Communication
findings to date
Findings to date…
  • Yes the OCAT tool can be used by Pacific NGOs
  • Yes there is a correlation between organisational capacity and science communication capability
  • Yes OCAT can help to determine what specific aspects need to be addressed by an organisation
findings to date1
Findings to date
  • Yes OCAT is being used in other areas
  • Yes – I struggle with academic writing style
  • Yes – I need help (Academic Skills and Learning Centre)
  • Yes – I am determined to finish
what does my research have in common with this fish1
What does my research have in common with this fish?
  • The frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus) is one of two extant species of shark in the familyChlamydoselachidae, with a wide but patchy distribution in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
  • The gestation period may be as long as three and a half years
  • Termed a living fossil
a concluding statement
A concluding statement…
  • “Building a basic capacity in science and technology communication is the best way of ensuring that decisions are adequately “informed”, and this must therefore be a central component in any local or national strategy to promote sustainable development……The stronger such a communication capacity, the better placed a local community – or a national ministry or parliament, for that matter – will be to guide itself into the future “ [1]”

[1] Dickson D, 2004. The need to boost science reporting, 23 September 2002, www.scidev.net/editorials/index.cfm