03/12/2021 – Research, visibility, impact: Stepping stones to policymakers

Research generates ideas, knowledge and recommendations but it will only have a real-world impact if it is properly understood, effectively communicated and, ultimately, used to inform policy decisions. A key strategic objective for UNU-MERIT is to get our research agenda – in particular Comprehensive Innovation for Sustainable Development (CI4SD) issues – on policymakers’ agendas and to see our recommendations and findings implemented as policy.

UNU-MERIT increasingly competes with other universities, research institutions and think tanks – even statutory bodies, the media and public opinion – for the attention of policymakers. Understanding how policy is formed and implemented is vital to organisations like ours and will help shape the design and delivery of our research as we aim to make our analysis more accessible to policymakers.

This seminar will outline ways to achieve greater research impact and how UNU-MERIT’s communications team can use various communications tools and the media to support this objective. Understanding the policymaking process, successful stakeholder engagement and rigorous monitoring and evaluation are all key to achieving impact and will be discussed at this meeting.

About the speaker

Keith Burnet joined UNU-MERIT in November 2021. He has over 30 years’ experience in communications roles in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors including as Managing Director of Communications and Publishing at Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) working with its executive and non-executive leadership to develop and implement organisational and communications strategies. His other communications roles include with Wood Mackenzie & Co, NatWest Securities, Wiley-Blackwell, the Industrial Society (now Work Foundation), the Disablement Income Group and the UK Labour Party.

Keith is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the All Survivors Project which supports global efforts to eradicate conflict-related sexual violence against men and boys. He studied business and politics at Oxford Brookes University, UK and Curtin University, Western Australia.

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