Last week (27 – 30 September 2016) the DUPC2 Research Impact workshop took place. This workshop is part of a new approach for DUPC2 with which the programme wants to emphasize realizing ‘impact on the ground’. During the workshop, project teams were encouraged to think about sharpening their project proposals, to improve the likely impact. Emphasis was also given to synergies between projects and better cooperation on a regional level.
Teams from twelve projects currently running under DUPC2 participated in this four day programme. Eight research projects had each invited two Southern partners. Four projects focussing on the Middle East also participated. It was a diverse and enthusiastic group with, in total, 29 participants (17 from Southern partners), with different backgrounds, coming from different parts of the world.
Nathanial (Nate) Matthews and Michael Victor from the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems which is led by the International Water Management Institute were the facilitators of the first three days of the workshop. They organised informative and interactive sessions and discussed with the participants and teams core themes around Research 4 Development and helped the teams to understand how they can optimize development impact as a result of their research activities. During the workshop, posters were created, pitches were made and discussions were held.
On the second day Titia Wouters-Slis from Via Water was present, to tell us something about and discuss innovation from the perspective of Via Water. Ruth Webber from our Communication department also joined on the second day in the afternoon for a session on ‘Communication and engagement strategies’.
On the third day, the project representatives had to enter the Dragons’ Den and present their project ideas to a group of ‘dragons’. Aart van der Horst, Marion van Schaik and Tineke Roholl from DGIS, Han van Dijk from NWO-Wotro, Willemijn Nagel of Via Water, two IHE PhD students Shahnoor Hassan and Akosua Boakye – Ansah, Ruth Webber from Communication and Wim Douven the DUPC2 coordinator were present as the dragons.. They breathed their fire over the projects, as well as giving encouragement and advice.
The last day of the workshop was facilitated by Carolien Jasper from Liaison Office. IHE staff from different departments gave informative presentations and answered questions. Wim Douven, Ruth Webber, Hans van der Kwast, Nadine Sander, Ben Stuijfzand and Carolien Jaspers all had a small and relevant session on Friday morning.
Overall the workshop was considered a very worthwhile exercise by those taking part. The participants particularly valued the opportunity to share ideas and resources, find out about the other projects and develop synergies between projects, by topic or by geographic region, which will maximise their impact on the ground.