Effective decision making in global development requires access to diverse, high quality, relevant evidence from a range of sources. However, the availability and visibility of research knowledge in online spaces is unequal. Some programmes produce wonderful publications and materials that get lost to the world when projects come to an end. Others are hard to find unless the person looking for them knows that they exist and what they are called.
A key aspect of the CLARISSA programme is to ensure that messages reach the right people. As part of our uptake and engagement approach, we are committed to identifying outputs – including reports, papers and briefings – and publishing them in an open access repository – OpenDocs. We believe that in extending the reach and life of these outputs we can increase the potential impact that the research can have.
What is OpenDocs?
OpenDocs is built on a software platform that is used internationally and is highly compatible with other systems to facilitate data exchange and re-use. The full text of each archived document is rapidly indexed by search engines and securely stored for the long term. In this way OpenDocsis hugely increasing the discoverability of research both inside and outside academic circles. We have kick-started our collection by including research evidence from related programmes that look at aspects of child labour – this collection will continue to grow and evolve.
But for us, publishing outputs in an open access repository is not enough. Just because research is available does not mean that people will automatically read it. Over the coming years, we will be working across the consortium to ensure that we share the information from the programme in lots of different ways and to a wide-ranging audience. This will include:
- Using global media outlets and networks to document and share lived realities with a view to raising awareness of the drivers of child labour in the country contexts.
- Producing accessible outputs that are targeted to country contexts – taking into account languages, varying ages and levels of literacy.
- Providing internal communications mechanisms to ensure that programme stakeholders and partners are better connected and able to build on each other’s work.
- Capturing learning about adaptive methods and best practices to strengthen the process and share with the broader research community.
We will work collectively to enable adaptive planning, conceptual development and analysis for influence at all levels. But crucially, we will share all this work through the CLARISSA website and the open access repository.