Kstar: Views, hopes, fears, and next steps

So the Kstar conference 2012 comes to an end?…. Or is it just the beginning?! What stood out for you? Where should we be going next? Over the past three days we’ve gathered your views and insight, which are all brought together in this collection of videos:

Kstar with civil society: brokering relationships instead of knowledge?

As key actors intersecting the knowledge-policy interface, knowledge intermediaries working with civil society and community organisations have a key facilitating role to play in policy and decision making processes. Drawing on personal insights from working within civil society and community organisations, this panel session saw David Phipps, Leandro Echt and Glowen Kyei-Mensah share key lessons for improving the impact civil society and community organisations within the knowledge-policy process.

Kstar with civil society

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Managing data in a world drowning in knowledge

With the internet-fuelled explosion of accessible knowledge, managing and storing it systematically has never been more important. On the second day of the K* Conference 2012, a panel of experts explore cutting-edge solutions to data and knowledge management.

Kstar 2012 and data management

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From ideas to action: practical guidance for a Kstar practitioner from Laurens Klerkx

At the K* Conference 2012, a panel of knowledge practitioners shared their experience and personal insights in being at the sharp end of policy delivery.  In this interview, Laurens Klerkx – Professor of Communication and Innovation Studies from Wageningen University – reflects on his own research and offers some practical guidance in improving the impact and influence of Kstar activities.

Effective knowledge translation: Reflections of a Kstar practitioner from Nyokabi Musilla

On the first day of the Kstar conference 2012, Dr Nyokabi Musila – Research and Knowledge Translation Scientist based at the African Institute for Development Policy – shared her experience of knowledge translation in a project focusing on reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa. Reflecting on the panel discussion which explored effective knowledge translation, we interviewed Nyokabi and asked her, what do you mean by the term knowledge translation, what challenges did you face in your role as knowledge translator and what practical guidance can you offer someone working as a Kstar practitioner.

Living the Kstar lifestyle: Reflections of a Kstar practitioner from Andrew Campbell

What does it mean to be a Kstar practitioner and what are the challenges to working effectively across the knowledge-policy interface? In this interview, Professor Andrew Campbell – Director of the Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods at Charles Darwin University draws on his rich experience working as a knowledge practitioner and shares some personal insights on how to improve your impact working in the vast and growing field of Kstar. As Andrew outlines, funding the arrows and not the boxes – that is funding the process and not the outcome – is crucial if knowledge translation and brokering is to be effective. Taking some time out to sharpen the sword and build your skills is, for Andrew, also of critical importance.

Practicing Kstar: from ideas to action

Practitioners working across the knowledge-policy interface play an increasingly important role in the drive towards evidence based policymaking. At the K* Conference 2012, a panel of knowledge practitioners shared their experience and personal insights in being at the sharp end of policy delivery.

Kstar with practitioners

Kstar with practitioners

Policy is a complex, messy process that does not follow an orderly linear path. Policy design, implementation and evaluation involve a myriad of actors and a diverse array of knowledge. Interacting in a web of power and politics, it is difficult, near impossible, to entangle and understand when, where and why policy decisions should and could be made.

Understanding and working through this complexity, knowledge practitioners aim to smooth the path between knowledge producers and users. But, the world of policy is not an impartial, objective or benevolent one. Thus, knowledge practitioners, as facilitators of evidence, have an important role to play in ensuring all types of knowledge are voiced in the knowledge-policy dialogue.

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Kstar: Lost in translation?

Effective knowledge translation is key to ensuring that evidence escapes the confines of academia and is practically applied to the language of policy. The Kstar conference 2012 provided a platform for a panel of experts to share examples of good practice and delve deeper into understanding why knowledge translation is important and what impact translation wields on the knowledge-policy interface.

Kstar 2012 - knowledge translation

Kstar 2012 - knowledge translation

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Kstar has landed!

The Kstar conference 2012, or for all those Tweeters out there (#KStar2012), has been generating a lot of buzz on the Twittersphere. But what on earth is Kstar? For those new to the field, Dr Alex Bielak – Senior Fellow and Knowledge Broker, United Nations University – Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) – explains what Kstar means, why it is important and what he hopes the Kstar conference 2012 will achieve.

‘Context is King’ in bridging research and policy

Research Shaping Policy Session

Research Shaping Policy Session

The new buzzword around the world is ‘evidence-based policymaking’. But how effectively does research reach and inform policies in the real world, and what is the role of think tanks in bridging this divide? The Directors of three Think Tanks in Colombia, Chile and Equador shared tactical approaches in a session entitled Research Shaping Policy: Latin America’s Experience, and lived up to their reputation for ‘fierce debate’.

The GDNet-convened session highlighted how crucial  the political context is in shaping the effectiveness of think tank interventions in a country. For Orazio Belletini, Executive Director of FARO in Equador, rapid turnover of politicians is a constant problem: Ministers of Finance last an average of only six months in his country. Information is scarce, dispersed, highly technical and difficult for policymakers to use.  “The political landscape is characterised by ideological fragmentation and volatile coalitions”, he said. “By the time a researcher has finished his policy paper, the Minister interested in the results is no longer in office”.

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