|DRUSSA Communications Survey|
|Wednesday, 19 February 2014 00:00|
Email is most favoured as the most accessible and user-friendly delivery mode for the DRUSSA Community. The 2013 DRUSSA communications survey revealed that of the various delivery modes used, emails addressed to a person and received directly are seen to be most important and that newsletters received by email are perceived to be important and helpful, particularly in the way they link to content on the DRUSSA.net site.
Printed materials provided to participants are viewed as helpful. This is a challenge for a Sub-Saharan wide project—with a limited number of physical events and the outrageous cost of delivery of printed materials, other solutions have to be found.
Respondents in Africa, while they may use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for other purposes, prefer overwhelmingly to access Research Uptake content through the DRUSSA site using a computer or laptop that uses the workplace connectivity channels.
Interestingly, from other data sources, the evidence is that DRUSSA’s friends in northern geographic locations access services via smartphone. The African information-accessing revolution via smart and cell devices that is cited so widely, seems not to have impacted yet, perhaps because of the direct cost to the receiver.
The Coffee Station (Mkahawa), the closed interactive discussion platform for the DRUSSA Community, was perceived to be important and useful by too small a number of the Community to merit it continuation as a service.
DRUSSA Communications Survey Results
What does this mean for DRUSSA’s Community and Networkers?
Some change in email delivery formats—fewer, but content-rich newsletters, and more alerts about curated content on DRUSSA.net. DRUSSA friends, in these days of information overload, prefer to have a regular, concise information-push service.
Print-ready documents that are the result of DRUSSA universities’ work include the Platform2013 publication. Just starting is the Career Skills Toolkit series on how to run a publishing for Research Uptake campaign. Dr Sara Grobbelaar’s series, Building institutional capacity for Research Uptake was written as a result of her onsite observations that a framework for change would be useful.
This year, a Research Uptake literature review will be published, and university case studies that outline successful strategies and challenges to getting research into use will be readied for publication. PLATFORM2013 will morph into PLATFORM2014, showcasing more university Research Uptake projects.
DRUSSA.net will present the public face of the DRUSSA project: more curated material from the universities, more useful and print-ready toolkits, more ‘RUM in Action’.
Diana Coates is the Managing Director of Organisation Systems Design and the DRUSSA engagement and communications coordinator