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Fundación Comunica, together with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), has launched the Impact 2.0 iGuide: New mechanisms for linking research and policy, a guide designed to help researchers identify the right Web 2.0 tools for establishing links with policy makers, for building their online presence and credibility and for effectively communicating their research.

Written by Cheekay Cinco, Karel Novotný (both APC) and Bruce Girard (Fundación Comunica), the guide is designed for use by researchers and research organisations who want their work to support and influence public policies.

“E-government is moving beyond merely providing information or streamlining transactions and is increasingly using ICTs to involve stakeholders in virtual consultations, in communities of practice and in various other aspects of the policy process”, said Girard. “Researchers need to be a part of this and new online tools are becoming an essential part of every researcher’s communication toolkit.”

The Impact 2.0 iGuide is designed in such a way that it guides researchers in finding the appropriate tools through identifying their specific communication needs and strategies. Its structure follows the “context, evidence, links” framework developed by the Research and Policy in Development Programme (RAPID) of the Overseas Development Institute for linking research and policy. The guide contains a brief introduction to Web 2.0 tools and a general overview of strategies for using these tools to link research, policy and advocacy. The second part of the guide includes a matrix of Web 2.0 tools listed in the context of the specific communication strategies they can support.

“We published the iGuide as a wiki to facilitate keeping it up-to-date in the constantly changing environment of Web 2.0 tools”, explained Karel Novotný. “It also makes it easy for anyone interested in contributing to future iGuide development to join the team.”

Researchers and ICT practitioners are encouraged to contact Fundación Comunica and to contribute to the iGuide with their knowledge. The development of the Impact 2.0 iGuide has been supported by International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

The Impact 2.0 iGuide:New mechanisms for linking research and policy is currently available in English. A Spanish version is under development.