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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

Will the DAPA blog facilitate impact?

BlogsYesterday the DAPA pioneer bloggers met for a meeting to discuss our first blogging experiences, what we like and what we want to improve in terms of design, functionalities, and content. While we went through those different aspects and decided on the next steps (i.e. best images for the different headers, use of Google Analytics to track statistics, focus on internal achievements versus highlights of other people´s work, tagging rules, best widgets and plug ins…) the key question was: What do we want to achieve with the blog, and what do we expect to happen as a result of our blogging enthusiasm?

Several perspectives and opportunities were shared:

The blog is a networking tool: If we manage to highlight other people’s work and resources we can expect to create stronger linkages and new partnerships. This includes social reporting of our Program events, insights from workshops that we attend, as well as references and recommendations of books, Web sites and initiatives that are related to decision support and analysis. In addition, we can raise awareness if we are good at promoting our blog through the use social media.

The blog supports internal knowledge sharing: While we all work on our specific projects and activities and feel sometimes disconnected the blog should help us to keep us updated on each other’s business and promote our decision support and analysis efforts within CIAT.

The blog can generate useful conversations: This is a key feature of blogs. While we have our models among long-time bloggers like Abrobiodiversity, or ICT-KM, we are also aware that we need to be patient and find our own tone, ask pertinent questions that encourage our readers to engage in a discussion, read and share conversations on other peoples blogs.

The blog is a process documentation tool: While we are eager to promote our products and achievements, we also want to share work in progress. Ideally our products should be improved through the ongoing reflection process.

Another interesting aspect that we discussed was the linkages between our blog and the new corporate CIAT Web site. Our aim is to have one page on the corporate site with the basic information on what we do, where we work, partners, donors and team plus a feed aggregator that generates a window with our latest blog posts. The page should also link directly to DAPA’s Slideshare site, its social bookmarks and tweets. Finally we can expect that some of our posts can make it into the corporate Web site news section :-).

So let’s see, monitor and evaluate if the DAPA blog can make a difference in a near future. We will keep you posted.

Next week we meet with the full DAPA team to introduce the blog, get new bloggers on board and celebrate this first big step.

Photo credit: Dull Hunk http://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/2455108316/

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