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Communicating Clearly on Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction: Writeshops for Developing Country Scientists

Submitted by Michael Rastall 2nd April 2014 11:02

Participants in the first writeshop, held in Bangkok, Thailand, in September 2010. ©Stockholm Environment Institute.

Project description

There is growing concern about the small number of peer-reviewed journal articles on environment and development issues that are authored by developing-country scientists. To a great extent, this is due lack of training and experience, which creates a large capacity gap.

In an effort to help close this gap, SEI and the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) are sponsoring a series of writeshops for early-career scientists and practitioners who want to build their writing skills and bring their research findings to a global audience.

The first writeshop in the series was held in Bangkok in September 2010, and a second one for Anglophone Africa took place in Accra, Ghana, in February 2011, supported by theUNU Institute for Natural Resources in Africa. A third writeshop, for researchers in Latin America, was held in Turrialba, Costa Rica, in July 2011, hosted by the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE).

Each writeshop involves 16 participants who have already carried out research related to adaptation and disaster risk reduction, and are paired up with mentors who have a strong background in the topic, peer-review writing, and mentoring.

Modelled on the various steps in the writing of a peer-review article, the writeshops help participants with everything from identifying what research outcomes are worth writing about, to responding to reviewer comments. Two out of five days are set aside for writing, supported by occasional meetings with the mentor checking on progress.

Interest and demand have been high, and more writeshops are planned in 2011, targeting researchers in small island developing states, Latin America, the Middle East and West Asia, and Francophone Africa. There are extensive partnership opportunities: The writeshops are hosted by a local organisation, and many of the participants and mentors rely on their own organisations to support their involvement.

So far, SEI has successfully partnered with the UN University (UNU) in Tokyo, the UNU Institute for Natural Resources in Africa, and the Global Change SysTem for Analysis Research and Training (START). SEI welcomes additional partners for future collaboration.

For more information, contact Lisa Schipper.