February 18-20, 2015
On February 18-20, 2015, the Think Tank Initiative (TTI), a multi-donor program managed by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), dedicated to strengthening independent policy research institutions in developing countries, hosted a global event for all its 43 grantees entitled “Think Tank Initiative Exchange 2015: Research Quality, Outreach and Impact” in Istanbul, Turkey. 200 think tanks, donors, and other research-to-policy stakeholders came together to explore perspectives on the theme of “Research Quality: Approaches, Outreach and Impact.” CPED Executive Director Professor Emeritus Andrew Godwin Onokerhoraye and Job Eronmhonsele, CPED Senior Programme Officer and Head, Communications Division represented CPED at the Event.
The objectives of the global event were: to share understanding and perspectives on what research quality means for think tanks to achieve impact; to share knowledge, practice and experience on how think tanks are ensuring rigor, and quality research while maintaining policy relevance; to create awareness and exposure to a range of different approaches, methods and tools for strengthening research quality; to identify potential areas of capacity development and related support for research quality in think tanks; and, to promote networking and collaboration between think tanks and other research to policy stakeholders. The program featured different parallel sessions. Among th ese was a session on how think tanks can engage directly with citizens in order to enable their voices to feed into research and policy outcomes. Professor Emeritus Andrew G. Onokerhoraye of CPED made a presentation at this session entitled “A Case Study of Community Engagement Research to Promote Peace among Communities in Nigeria’s Niger Delta”. In his presentation Professor Onokerhoraye made it clear that Community engagement is important to ensure the protection of participants, for building a trust
Professor Andrew G. Onokerhoraye in a Panel Discussion at the TTI Exchange 2015 Conference in Istanbul, Turkey
relationship between researchers and the community and to address ethical issues arising from research. He emphasized that partners in community engagement can include organized groups, agencies, institutions, or individuals.
Other presenters in the session include Raghavan Suresh of Public Affairs Centre (PAC) India; Ajaya Dixit of ISET-T, Nepal; Arthur Bainomugsha of ACODE, Uganda, and Udan Fernando of CEPA, Sri Lanka. The session was coordinated by Diakalia Sanogo of TTI.
The research conference provided opportunities for participants to learn new approaches, tactics and tools that can be employ to strengthen the quality and effectiveness of think tanks’ research uptake as well as learning new ways of identifying pitfalls and minimizing risks which may arise when applying these approaches, tactics, and tools.
Job Eronmhonsele (CPED) with other participants doing some exercise on community engagement at the TTI Exchange 2015 Conference in Istanbul, Turkey