Our advocacy and public engagement programmes respond to the Centre’s Objective 3: Facilitating interactive learning, dialogue and networking. We recognize that interaction allows actors to learn about new things, new ways of doing things and different ways of organizing to achieve better results. As such, promoting continuous interactions amongst young professionals; end-users and decision-makers permit exchange of ideas from diverse viewpoints. From these interactions emerge better ideas, formation of new partnerships and sharing of experiences. Our advocacy and public engagement programme focuses on promoting dialogue and networking amongst different end-users and decision-makers.
We facilitate and promote dialogue and networking in three broad categories including:
- Linking multiple scientific/professional domains e.g. connecting social and natural sciences; intra- and trans-disciplinary collaborative teams
- Linking institutions/networks/consortia from different backgrounds and orientations e.g. non-profits, private sector, civil society, public policy etc
- Linking young professionals and decision-makers from across geographical boundaries e.g. from different African countries; north-south and south-south collaborations.
Public Engagement Platforms
Linking R&D to the market through participatory social technologies: The use of participatory social technologies e.g. interactive web-based platforms (popularly known as web 2.0) that allow interactive learning have the potential of solving the problems of learning and access to knowledge between the R&D institutes and the productive sectors (end users). This project seeks to pilot the use of such social technologies to connect R&D to its market and promote interactive learning between the actors.
Consultative Workshops – “the breaking barriers series”: The essence of these workshops is to bring together and facilitate dialogue amongst different sectors/professionals who ordinarily do not talk/interact with each other but who should learn from each other. They are intended to explore areas of complementarities between disciplines/professions and encourage new teams/partnerships between professionals with diverse backgrounds to solve societal problems. They are also intended to bring together people with various needs together with organizations and institutions that can solve their problems.
Facilitating public engagement: We create as well as use existing public platforms for our advocacy initiatives including the use of open forums and the media to engage with our audiences. Examples of open forum platforms include:
- Round tables, talk shows, issue-oriented policy debates
- Training workshops
- City fairs, religious gatherings and other community meetings
We also use the following media outlets:
- Radio/TV/magazines (news, expert interviews, documentaries)
- Internet and social networking