Methods of Dissemination of Environmental Information
Once the dissemination objective and the audience are identified, there are a variety of ways to share the developed content (RHIHUB, 2011). Generally, the aim of research dissemination is to ensure that research results are used to support better environmental decision-making (John & Jennie, 2008).
It is recognised that there is not one best way for communication of research, and that the approach needs to be tailored to the audience and the circumstances (John & Jennie, 2008).
As such, different methods and strategies for environmental dissemination are employed by different organisations, countries and groups.
For example, The Global Environmental Change Programme of the UK Economic and Social Research Council, a large-scale, multi-year research effort used on social science perspectives on environmental problems focused on dissemination as its main task during its final year (Alister, 2000).
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The methods of dissemination they employed include:
Awareness-raising activities such as the publication of a newsletter and informational materials;
Disseminating research briefings and summaries of specific projects;
Synthesizing findings of several projects in topic-driven „Special Briefings‟;
Identifying the needs of „users‟ in the policy and business communities;
Providing evidence for policy efforts
Encouraging communication and collaboration with user institutions. Efforts within the programme have explored interactive collaborations with research users.
Some methods suggested by John and Jennie, (2008) include:
Peer reviewed publications are considered to be the appropriate channel of communication with the science community. Environmental ministries and agencies generally recognise their importance in respect of the quality assurance of the work and to build confidence in using the results.
Professional journals are increasingly used as an effective channel of communication with practitioners. They are particularly relevant for engineers and people working in environmental management (but generally do not score so highly on measures of academic research such as impact factor, citations etc.).
Newsletters are often used by organisations, and at the level of individual programmes, for keeping extended user and research communities up to date with developments.
Face-to-face is considered by many interviewees communication to be the best option. A face-to-face meeting between the researcher and the user enables a proper understanding of the confidence of the conclusions and remaining uncertainties to be established. If the user has not understood something, they can ask the researcher to explain.
Informal networks, for example with local authorities or on particular environmental issues, which may get together periodically to exchange information about what is going on.
Regular forums, bringing together people from the research community, government and business to discuss a key issue such as climate change.
Excursions for users to research laboratories and field sites bringing the research to life.
Durga, (2020) also highlighted some methods for environmental information dissemination as follows:
Information packs like posters, slides and audio-visual materials, which can be utilized by the adult education centres as well as by the workers of other developmental agencies like agricultural extension services and primary health centres.
Incorporation of topics in regional languages and local dialects in the primers of adult education programmes.
Special exhibitions in rural areas at the time of fairs and festivals
The Rural Health Information Hub also provided some methods for dissemination of environmental information especially that of public health which include:
Read Also : Tools Used for Dissemination of Environmental Information
Publishing program or policy briefs
Publishing project findings in national journals and state wide publications
Presenting at national conferences and meetings of professional associations
Presenting program results to local community groups and other local stakeholders
Creating and distributing program materials, such as flyers, guides, pamphlets and DVDs
Creating toolkits of training materials and curricula for other communities
Sharing information through social media or on an organization’s website
Summarizing findings in progress reports for funders
Disseminating information on an organization’s website
Discussing project activities on the local radio
Publishing information in the local newspaper
Issuing a press release
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