May 24, 2015

DRUSSA - Developing a stakeholder engagement and science communication plan Handbook

The goal of the DRUSSA programme is strengthened university Research Uptake capacity for individuals and universities so as to better meet the demand for better utilisation of research findings.
In September 2013, the DRUSSA team at the University of Stellenbosch’s Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) presented a 4-day workshop during which two research project teams from participating universities were equipped with key skills to produce a research uptake case study with a particular emphasis on developing stakeholder engagement and science communication plans. Click link for the HandBook

The plan set out the process and actions to engage with key stakeholders such as the community where the research was being undertaken, interested public and policy makers and funders. It also set out the processes through which the research project team would communicate the their research findings to these stakeholders.

Over the period September 2013 to September 2014 the case study teams interacted closely with the CREST team to write up an account of their experience of developing and refining these plans and on how they have proceeded to implement them.
The first section of this document reviews theoretical and practical frameworks and approaches for
stakeholder identification, analysis to establish ‘fit for purpose’ for the context in which the research was taking place, and analysis of the engagement and communication plan development that was presented at the conclusion of the workshop in September 2013. This section therefore comprises a section on the practicalities and “how-to’s” of the process of developing a stakeholder engagement and science communication plan.

The following two sections then describe the experience, learning, practical difficulties and successes
encountered by two case-study teams.
The first case study provides an analysis and overview of a complicated (at times) stakeholder engagement planning process, and its communication plan. The project aimed at quantifying and uncovering the movement of sediments and agrochemicals found under various types of mulches in coastal, hilly, food production areas in Mauritius.

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