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Thursday, 17 December 2015 15:44

Working with academics: it gets easier. Honestly

In a recent article in The Guardian newspaper, Gemma Ferguson from our Change Starts at Home Programme provides tips on how to get the best out of collaboration.

During a recent presentation, I was given a raucous round of applause from the academics in the room for correctly describing our project’s study as a “pair-matched, repeated cross-sectional, two-armed, single-blinded, cluster randomised controlled trial”.

Academics are often accused of hiding in “ivory towers” as described in a recent Guardian newspaper article that demanded they get better at sharing their ideas with a wider audience. But as practitioners, “policy influencing” and “research uptake” are increasingly becoming key components of our work, and it is essential that we also strive to bridge the divide and find ways to collaborate better with our academic colleagues.

As a development practitioner, gettting to the point where I can not only say the words “pair-matched, repeated cross-section, two-armed, single-blinded, cluster randomised controlled trial” but can also just about understand what they mean, has taken a year of working closely with academics from the University of Minnesota and George Mason University on the study design for the Change Starts at Home project, a media and outreach project supported by DfID through the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women innovation fund.

Gemma Ferguson works for Equal Access and is technical adviser for the Change Starts at Home, one of 10 innovation grants supported by the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women programme.

Access the full article here.

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