The ROER4D project activity toolkit is comprised of five documents outlining activities associated with each of the University of Cape Town Network Hub pillars of project management activity: networking, evaluation, communications, research capacity development, and curation and dissemination. It is hoped that these chapters will be of practical use to other research projects attempting to integrate any of these aspects in their day-to-day activities.
The “Communications” chapter charts the experience of the ROER4D Communications Advisor in developing a research communication strategy for the project. It provides a short overview of the research communication field in order to give context and background to some of the field’s key debates and considerations, with attention given to the specific field of development research communication. Following this, it describes the evolution of the ROER4D research communication strategy, highlighting the tensions associated with an open communications approach.
The chapter describes the importance of an iterative, dynamic and non-linear approach to communications, in which changes as a result of new insights into audiences and re-prioritisation of objectives in the course of project activity required a review of communication channels.