WP7 – Synthesis, recommendations, communication and dissemination
Dissemination efforts in this WP will aim to maximise the indirect ‘spin-off’ effects of research such as training skilled people, creating networks, and expanding the capacity for problem solving (e.g. Weiss 1999; Salter et al. 2000; Forss et al. 2002). WP7 seeks to draw on the continuous engagement of stakeholders throughout the project in order to refine and, as needed, revise the dissemination strategy, in order to suit it to users’ needs. Particular attention will be paid to communicating the research findings through project briefs all the way throughout the project, and making the findings available on the project website, updated regularly. The WP will moreover organise the synthesis of the research achievements from POINT and the elucidation of recommendations for policy in terms of enhancing the role of indicators in supporting policy.
While the objective of WP6 is to engage with targeted stakeholders, mostly the potential ‘users’ of our findings (indicator practitioners, policymakers in the case study sectors, etc.), this WP aims at disseminating our results to broader audiences. Stakeholder needs identified in the project will be taken into account in dissemination, yet this ‘target approach’ is only one part of the dissemination strategy. Indeed, given that the fundamental question of the entire research project is the influence of indicators on policymaking, this WP provides an opportunity to put our research findings under test, and create a learning cycle, whereby our research results directly feed into refining the dissemination strategy. While the long-term influence of dissemination is impossible to measure within the lifetime of the project, the immediate impacts of the project’s dissemination efforts will be monitored, through measuring the media uptake of our findings, the number of visitors on the project website, number of readers of projects briefs, feedback from seminar and conference attendants, etc.
An effort shall be made, throughout the project, to identify the relevant knowledge-brokers (e.g. Huberman 1994-95; Owens and Rayner 1999; Guston and Clark 2000; Eckley 2001) in the case study countries, and utilise them to the extent possible so as to ensure the maximum impact from dissemination. Such potential knowledge-brokers include the European Environment Agency (EEA) and OECD/IEA.
Two events will used to discuss the findings of the POINT project and to elucidate what the project achievements imply in terms of policy recommendations. The first is the synthesis workshop, which will revise and refine the initial analytical framework, developed in WP2. In this workshop, the main issues concerning the use and influence of indicators will be identified, and the implications for the development and use of indicators will be discussed in order to arrive at policy recommendations. The international conference, which will mark the end of the project, will present these recommendations and to draw feedback from the international scientific and stakeholder community.