GDNet-TrustAfrica Policy Workshop

On 7-8 June 2011 GDNet, in collaboration with Trust AfricaCIPPEC and CommsConsult, organised a two-day policy workshop for the researchers involved in the Investment Climate and Business Environment Research Fund (ICBE-RF). The workshop, held in Kampala, Uganda, gathered 22 participants from different African countries such as Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

GDNet-TrustAfrica Policy Workshop

GDNet-TrustAfrica Policy Workshop

The Investment Climate and Business Environment Research Fund (ICBE-RF) is a joint project of TrustAfrica and Canada’s International Development Research Center initiated in 2006. It seeks to strengthen policy research that can help improving the investment climate and business environment in Africa, through grant making, capacity strengthening, and policy dialogues. During its first phase, the project supported a cohort of 54 research teams from 33 institutions in 16 African countries and more than 150 individual researchers who are conducting cutting-edge research on a diverse range of issues impacting the investment and business environment in Africa.

Launched on March 1, 2010, phase II of the ICBE-RF is not only dedicated to improve the investment climate to accelerate growth, but also to empower poor people to contribute to and benefit from such growth. In other words, the fund aims at supporting research, with a special focus on combining the traditional “doing business” framework with an equitable development lens for “making markets work for the poor”. Moreover, it aims at strengthening the capacities of research teams that work on investment climate and business environment issues. Finally, the fund strives to promote the dissemination of research results among policy makers, the private sector and other stakeholders.

The GDNet-Trust Africa policy workshop introduced participants to the theories of research into policy and provided them with an understanding of the challenges of engaging and influencing policy processes. The workshop also guided participants through the key considerations in developing an influence plan.

Furthermore, participants of the workshop had the opportunity to follow practical sessions focussing on how to communicate with policy-makers and how to produce appropriate communication tools for effective engagement with the media, looking specifically at the African communications landscape. Carlos Cardoso, responsible for Research at CODESRIA, and Julia D’Agostino, Civil Society Directorate Coordinator at CIPPEC, presented the regional experiences of their respective organizations. A significant part of the workshop was then dedicated at working with the media, to help researchers understand what makes news, how and when research is newsworthy and how to write for the media. A simulation of a press conference gave participants the possibility to practice how to present research results to the media with an interactive Q & A session. Lastly, a session on monitoring, evaluation and the incidence of knowledge management in public policies closed the workshop.

During the workshop, we recorded interviews with some participants to learn more about their research and to understand how they benefited from this GDNet capacity building event. In the video below, Francis Kemausuor from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana, presented the findings of his technical and economic feasibility study on the biofuel SMEs in Ghana.

You can watch more videos from this event on the GDNet YouTube Channel

To learn more about the workshop, check the GDNet Workshop Community Group. For further information about GDNet Research Communications Capacity Building Workshop, check the Research Uptake page.

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