Developing Critical Thinking Capacity to Communicate

A book on how to communicate complex ideas

Researchers are more likely to be influenced by research than by the recommendations and advice of practitioners. They are also more likely to be influenced by research undertaken by themselves or their peers than by that carried out by others in contexts and with tools different to those that they are used to “Mendizabal”.Critical Thinking

Misinterpretation happens, and more often it happens that communications practitioners can communicate wrong ideas to policy audience as well as to many others. Still communications’ complexities are numerous; many of which include that arising from the complexity of ‘policy influencing process’ and the many different actors involved, ‘internal and external factors’ affecting think tanks’ environments, ‘diversity , function and ideology’, among other intriguing factors to miscommunication. Capacity to communicate should not be one of those complexities. The ability to communicate complex ideas, especially the ones resulting from evidence-based research, should not be at risk.

A few months ago, a proposal for a book on “Communicating complex ideas and critical thinking” was initiated by Enrique Mendizabal in partnership with GDNet. The objective of this project is to gain a greater and more nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities for research uptake among think tanks and policy research institutes in developing countries.

This book project involves a number of researchers and communication practitioners across the developing world. Researchers will study the links between research and policy in their own disciplines and policy contexts. The book will contain 5-6 chapters; looking at governance policies and electoral reform in Argentina by CIPPEC; School reform in the Middle East by AUC; the social marketing and re-branding of breast milk in South Africa by Mixed Media; civilian control of the state security sector by BSCP; and public poisoning and harmful technologies by Groupo FARO

At least one monthly blog post per chapter will be posted on ‘On Think Tanks’ blog and cross posted on the GDNet blog, describing the research process including any challenges and insights that may not be suitable for the final chapter (this could be a list of useful resources and papers, as well as preliminary findings). Posting have already kick started!

The proposed approach seeks to encourage dialogue between academics and communications practitioners, resulting in a growing community of researchers and practitioners who are contributing to a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between research and policy. Editing the book provides ample opportunities to develop a capacity for critical thinking that is indispensable when think tanks and policy research institutes make choices about how they will communicate in the future.

Stay tuned to the Onthinktanks and GDNet blogs for more posts from research teams!

7 Responses to Developing Critical Thinking Capacity to Communicate

  1. Pingback: Communication as Organisation: Implications for Policy Research « on think tanks

  2. Pingback: The People, The Planet, The Can: Emerging lessons from policymakers’ perspective | GDNet Blog

  3. Pingback: Civilian control of the military in Serbia | GDNet Blog

  4. Pingback: Middle East education reform think tank project | GDNet Blog

  5. Pingback: Public poisoning as ‘communication’ in Ecuador: Lessons from the perpetuation of harmful technology | GDNet Blog

  6. Pingback: The people, the planet, the can – The social marketing and re-branding of breastmilk | GDNet Blog

  7. Pingback: The dilemmas of budget advocacy via the media | GDNet Blog

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