This module will focus on methods to position and deliver a national IEA so that it can have real impact on environmental policy and practice at a series of levels, ranging from local to national.
Why bother with developing an impact strategy?
In 1997, David Shenk coined the phrase “data smog,” referring to the 3,000+ information messages that an average person in the United States received on a daily basis. Imagine now, ten years later, the volume of information the average person must process, and what decision-makers must sort through each day. Simply providing yet another report to your senior bureaucrats and political leaders won’t be enough to ensure that they read your findings, let alone act upon them.
We want to take you through the steps that will help you determine how to engage the right people to listen to you and respond to your work. This impact process takes time; and involves a real emphasis on being clear and strategic in identifying the changes that you want to see as a result of your assessment. The process focuses on building relationships with key people, finding out what they know already and what they need to know. With that understanding, you can then seek out and create the opportunities to get your messages across, to generate dialogue, and gain the attention and support of those who may have in the past appeared non-responsive to your work.
As those who have participated in previous impact strategy workshops have said, “You need to know the goals and understand the people” (IISD workshop, EMAN, 2006).
A portion of this training will be presentational in nature. However, most of your time will be spent in pairs or small groups to discuss local political and social factors that could affect whether and how your reports are used. Small groups also will be used to practise building the components for an impact strategy for your reports.
Outputs of this training module
- The primary output should be an outline of an impact strategy for your next state of the environment (SoE) or GEO-based national integrated environmental assessment (IEA) report.
- At the end of this module, we anticipate that you will see yourself as someone capable of having a real impact on decision-making.