Around 20 experts gathered in the Senegalese capital recently to improve their communication research outputs and position their organization among key constituents. Overall, participants came from nine West African countries for training that also included presenting the revamps website of the Market of Innovations and Agricultural Technologies (MITA).
“It is up to the communications and technology scaling up experts to ensure the technologies devised by researchers are known to farmers, decision-makers, and other beneficiaries of research outputs,” says Prof. Nieyidouba Lamien, a Program Manager at CORAF.
NARS communication experts have argued that one of the major challenges is that scientists do not understand the importance of communications and, as a result, do not prioritize it in the conduct of their research. Brought in to highlight how and what is needed to ensure a smoother relationship between scientists and communications experts, Prof. Lamien argued that scientists could not substitute communications professionals.
There should be no barriers between researchers and communicators in the NARS. The latter must continually get closer to researchers to grasp technologies and information in order to bring them to policymakers and end users.
Dr Nieyidouba LAMIEN, Programs Manager at CORAF
The training focused on several communications-related modules, including strategy, content generation, social media, data and visualization, and informatics.
Presenting the New Iteration of the MITA Platform
The MITA platform has undergone some upgrades in recent years. This includes upgrades on the useability of the platform and the updating of technologies on the platform.
“The new platform is more user-friendly, dynamic, and focuses more on the technologies. The new platform has more detailed information on the technologies and also offers the possibility of easily contacting the authors or specialized centers for those in need of acquiring the innovation,” says Dr. Caroline Makamto Sobgui, a scaling-up expert in CORAF and leading the MITA upgrade process.
“Another novelty of the platform is that authors of research outputs and research centers can independently update the innovations on the platform by themselves.”
The new MITA platform would isn’t yet online. It would be launched in the weeks ahead.