The submission is a practice-based presentation outlining a model of engagement that has developed over  approximately ten years at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa (SA), one of the largest scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. The rationale for making the submission is to articulate an approach of communicating science with South African politicians and policy makers via a dedicated science council/parliamentary office and to share how various opportunities were created and utilised. The CSIR‘s shareholder is the South African Parliament. It is therefore important that the CSIR‘s alignment with its public mandate be communicated  to Parliament as effectively as possible. In order to demonstrate CSIR value during legislative debate (where appropriate) and in order to ensure sustained/increased parliamentary funding from a limited fiscus, it is becoming increasingly more important to communicate to Parliament how the CSIR contributes  to and enables delivery on government‘s priorities. The Parliamentary Liaison office (PLO) facilitates dual communication opportunities between scientists and politicians. The depth of learning gleaned from both Parliament and the CSIR over a sustained period and the close working relationships developed with internal and external stakeholders enabled the development of different levels of engagement opportunities and contributed to various outputs and successes. Though interrelated, four broad categories where the PLO supports colleagues with parliamentary engagements have been identified. They are: (1) communicating legislative and policy developments at government department and parliamentary level, (2) communicating accountability and oversight activity, (3) arranging pro-active engagements with key parliamentary portfolio committees (4) engaging parliamentary- and portfolio committee support staff. The PLO also supports colleagues by relaying parliamentary information. This information, which flows from Parliament to CSIR, is customised and is differentiated for recipient groups within the CSIR - namely for the Executive-, the Operating Units and Centres- and the Interest Group layer. Each layer, in turn also has a customised communications approach.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

A science council engagement model with the South African (SA) parliament

Azeza Fredericks   Council For Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa

The submission is a practice-based presentation outlining a model of engagement that has developed over  approximately ten years at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa (SA), one of the largest scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. The rationale for making the submission is to articulate an approach of communicating science with South African politicians and policy makers via a dedicated science council/parliamentary office and to share how various opportunities were created and utilised. The CSIR‘s shareholder is the South African Parliament. It is therefore important that the CSIR‘s alignment with its public mandate be communicated  to Parliament as effectively as possible. In order to demonstrate CSIR value during legislative debate (where appropriate) and in order to ensure sustained/increased parliamentary funding from a limited fiscus, it is becoming increasingly more important to communicate to Parliament how the CSIR contributes  to and enables delivery on government‘s priorities. The Parliamentary Liaison office (PLO) facilitates dual communication opportunities between scientists and politicians. The depth of learning gleaned from both Parliament and the CSIR over a sustained period and the close working relationships developed with internal and external stakeholders enabled the development of different levels of engagement opportunities and contributed to various outputs and successes. Though interrelated, four broad categories where the PLO supports colleagues with parliamentary engagements have been identified. They are: (1) communicating legislative and policy developments at government department and parliamentary level, (2) communicating accountability and oversight activity, (3) arranging pro-active engagements with key parliamentary portfolio committees (4) engaging parliamentary- and portfolio committee support staff. The PLO also supports colleagues by relaying parliamentary information. This information, which flows from Parliament to CSIR, is customised and is differentiated for recipient groups within the CSIR - namely for the Executive-, the Operating Units and Centres- and the Interest Group layer. Each layer, in turn also has a customised communications approach.

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

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