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

The desire to improve "home grown" science communication is supported by the literature and now with the OECD highlighting a fundamental change to the way funding is provided, it is anticipated that the there will be a large demand for practical ways that NGOs and other local organisations can improve their science communication activities.

A new independent report released by UNESCO in April 2007 has outlined a number of deficiencies in the coordination of science communication activities and specifically capacity building. This report was compiled by a review committee made up of scientists from UNESCO and experts from a number of countries, with the aim of informing the organisation's strategy and planning for scientific programmes from 2008.

This recommended new strategic direction for UNESCO clearly highlights a renewed need for policy advice on capacity building to gain a higher priority and compliments the OECD direction outlined in February 2006.

It is aligned to my preliminary findings that there are not necessarily shortages of capacity building "tools" but at an organisational level, policy needs and corporate strategy need to be aligned or changed.

Due to UNESCO's active role in the Pacific and the desire to implement this new direction from 2008, the 2007 UNESCO report has provided a clear mandate and strategic need from for my research. It has also shaped my research (in particular the aims and scope) from that originally proposed in November 2006.

Methods : The aim of my research is to identify the science communication capacity building needs of Pacific NGOs.
Anticipated benefits (positive contributions often not realised until completion of the research) of this research project are:

• 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;

• 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;

• Increased accountability of the investment of science communication activities in the Pacific region.

The research has been undertaken in a number of stages that are reflected in the structure of the thesis.

Results and Conclusions : This is a piece of active research that is being undertaken for a Masters of Philosophy (Science Communication).

By the end of 2008 the thesis is to be submitted and the PCST Conference is an opportunity to share findings as at June 2008 and exchange information relating to science communication capacity building.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Capacity building needs for pacific non government organisations

Lawrence Kirk   Australian National University

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

The desire to improve "home grown" science communication is supported by the literature and now with the OECD highlighting a fundamental change to the way funding is provided, it is anticipated that the there will be a large demand for practical ways that NGOs and other local organisations can improve their science communication activities.

A new independent report released by UNESCO in April 2007 has outlined a number of deficiencies in the coordination of science communication activities and specifically capacity building. This report was compiled by a review committee made up of scientists from UNESCO and experts from a number of countries, with the aim of informing the organisation's strategy and planning for scientific programmes from 2008.

This recommended new strategic direction for UNESCO clearly highlights a renewed need for policy advice on capacity building to gain a higher priority and compliments the OECD direction outlined in February 2006.

It is aligned to my preliminary findings that there are not necessarily shortages of capacity building "tools" but at an organisational level, policy needs and corporate strategy need to be aligned or changed.

Due to UNESCO's active role in the Pacific and the desire to implement this new direction from 2008, the 2007 UNESCO report has provided a clear mandate and strategic need from for my research. It has also shaped my research (in particular the aims and scope) from that originally proposed in November 2006.

Methods : The aim of my research is to identify the science communication capacity building needs of Pacific NGOs.
Anticipated benefits (positive contributions often not realised until completion of the research) of this research project are:

• 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;

• 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;

• Increased accountability of the investment of science communication activities in the Pacific region.

The research has been undertaken in a number of stages that are reflected in the structure of the thesis.

Results and Conclusions : This is a piece of active research that is being undertaken for a Masters of Philosophy (Science Communication).

By the end of 2008 the thesis is to be submitted and the PCST Conference is an opportunity to share findings as at June 2008 and exchange information relating to science communication capacity building.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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