One of the most challenging elements of any research project is providing the necessary dissemination of results and securing feedback and input from the intended recipients of and interlocutors with the project. The importance of integrating academic research with policy and other user communities should not be forgotten. In order to take a qualitative leap forward in overcoming these problems we are developing a process by which we can ensure that the wider policy community secures the best quality and policy relevant inputs from this cross-disciplinary and comparative research programme.
GR:EEN is, therefore to introducing regular, innovative ‘case study integrity fora’ (CSIF) throughout the project. The purpose of CSIFs is to bring in (or go to) policymakers from the Commission, the major international organisations and transnational policy networks, as well as national policymakers and market leaders and to present works-in-progress within a workshop format. We imagine the CSIFs to be a series of interactive events (taking any form from small meetings to larger workshop-style events) which will involve practitioners in the GR:EEN process, right from the very beginning of the project.
Each CSIF event may fall into one of three distinct categories depending on the research stage at which it is being employed:
This level of CSIF will see our scholars inviting individuals to respond to early stages in GR:EEN planning. Instigation events will ask such persons to critically assess the types of questions and research we intend to do and the value this may have for them. It could ask questions such as: What might work? What won’t work? What needs to be looked at? What is missing? It will also focus on how to continue to involve user communities, asking questions such as: what are the best ways of ensuring your input and/or interest as the project progresses? This instigation phase will not act as validation for work already done, but rather as an early forum for setting the right agenda from the beginning.
Early Impact Instigation events will focus on topics such as:
Indicators for Regional Influence (UNU-CRIS)
Human Security Discourses (Warwick)
European Governance Networks (NUPI)
Within this early category, each CSIF may have one of two purposes:
1. Academic engagement
2. Policy engagement
Under the first purpose, the CSIF may act as a forum for academic work to be reviewed, critically assessed and improved upon. Such CSIFs may not necessarily be attended solely by academics, but rather the major intention is to develop theoretical and methodological issues and questions rather than to test the policy and “user” relevance of the research. A CSIF with this purpose may be employed in particular where major documents are being written which will shape the academic output and focus of the project.
With the second purpose, the CSIF may act as a space for reflecting upon academic research in a policy environment. Thus enabling GR:EEN outputs to be better aligned with policy needs and agendas.
This level of CSIF will see our scholars working through intermediate issues with GR:EEN work. We will invite individuals to respond to work that is currently being undertaken and ask them to reflect upon the work done to date and make suggestions for improvement or development. This category of CSIF will enable our scholars to make changes and re-focus direction before too much work has been undertaken. Acting as an intermediate device, it will ask questions such as: Does this work as it currently is? How can we improve it from where it is now? What are our current strengths/ weaknesses? Is this developing as it should be? Are we on the right track?
Early Impact Investigation events will focus on topics such as:
Policy Learning from Regulatory Networks (Warwick)
Energy and Environment (discussion of first draft articles) (CEU)
The EU: a Legitimate and Efficient Actor in the Making (ULB)
Functioning as a form of dissemination, this level of CSIF will present GR:EEN work and findings to an audience of academics/ policymakers and key figures. It will work on strategies for integrating our results within the policy field and making the most of the work we have already accomplished. Integration CSIFs will focus on ensuring results and impact from our research and on inviting influential figures to make suggestions to this end. It will ask questions such as: How best can we use these materials/ conclusions? Do these findings validate/ confirm your own current work in this field? What impact might such findings have and how can we get this message out there? As part of our effort to continually involve user communities, we could also ask how best to disseminate to different audiences.
Early Impact Integration events will focus on topics such as:
Human Rights and Security (Findings, FRIDE)
Energy and Environment (Discussion of final drafts and policy implications, NUPI)