Commsplanning nov2015

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Comms team meeting

13 November 2015


  1. Welcome - General developments at ILRI & CGIAR that are relevant for CKM
  2. Individual updates on project and other deliverables
  3. Planning 2016: What big issues are driving our activities, what large campaigns could we organize, what activities could contribute to these
  4. Team collaboration: issues, platforms, modalities
  5. Wrap up and next steps



1. Welcome and general developments (Shirley)

Lots of discussion with the consortium, DGs etc. and moving things forward. We got to a very good point before the donors met and there was one voice, and there was an agreement that there can be a refreshed portfolio submitted to the funders. The different CRPs have to look at the comments they got and think how they’re going to address this as a portfolio approach – a package of CRPs that includes a combination of agri-food systems (of which livestock is one) and of cross-cutting / integrative CRPs (WLE, CCAFS, PIM, A4NH) and they want strong connecting mechanisms. Next week Jimmy and Tom going to Rome to find out what each CRP is going to do. Final feedback/go ahead by Fund Council is in December but the deadline to submit CRPs hasn’t changed and is still late March. We have to keep working on our livestock science work and we have to articulate that so we need to get the pieces.

Few other things going on: - There was some discussion about guiding CRPs re: Comms & KM. So that’s also good. - As part of our portfolio we are talking about site integration (country collaboration). 20 countries have been identified as priority countries because of existing CG activities. Out of these 6 are ++ of which Ethiopia is one and ILRI is leading this process in Ethiopia. It’s supposed to be looking at what the centres have on the ground but also engaging with the government, finding out about priorities etc. and connecting CRPs with them. Much more intentional engagement. - GCARD: partnership between national and regional organisations. Big meeting in South Africa in April. Another opportunity for partner engagement. For the livestock CRP, this means that at some junction we may have a side meeting to discuss what we’re planning about the livestock CRP etc. We’ll see how all that starts panning out.

Internally at ILRI, one of the important things is going to be that Iain is working hard with regional and program leaders to get medium-term plans and that within those are articulations about what the main comms products/processes will be. We hope that when these plans come through we can help inform them from a CKM perspective. This could be by the end of the year. We’re hoping that that helps us in planning though we also have to be proactive and talk to program leaders etc. Updates from last week’s Board meeting (new board member from Ethiopia). Board chair and Dieter Schillinger left and we hope we can connect with them in Addis. They’re looking forward for an opportunity to say good bye to us. We have a new board member from Uganda (vice chancellor of a Uni in Uganda) and a lady leading a research centre in India. They thought ILRI comms was great. We got the calendar and corporate report to the Board and to the World Bank. Provisional budget was approved for the whole of ILRI but we have lots of work to do to revise this by April when we come up with the final budget for the Board. We’re going to have to do a lot of work because there’s a big deficit and we have to do more resource mobilisation. CKM has to help scientists with their plans for resource mobilisation (glossy proposals etc.) and to make sure people put comms in their budget proposals. We had a really good meeting this week on livestock advocacy and had diverse participants and people from the BMGF and they were very positive about our inputs. We have to move that forward but that’s a good opportunity. We will have 1 system office and one system council. They’ll be merged into one body and that’s supposed to be in place by July next year.

Q&A: - Comment: we should all focus on what we can do about fund-raising because the whole CG is doing this. SO let’s think intentionally about what we can do usefully for fundraising etc. We need funds. We need funds for ILRI and for CKM. - Q: MN hears a lot about our pricing on items. Our services are pegged on salaries, not on services. Shouldn’t we come up with a pricing. We have to revise the way we budget…

  • o Misja will be looking at how we do costing. In 2012 when we moved to full cost recovery no one knew what that meant. We did what we could and it wasn’t bad but some of the other things (e.g. cap dev, CKM, legal services) were much more difficult to assess. So for CKM we know some things are institutional (e.g. our website).
  • o We should be planning our activities with budget… What are we getting out of these activities?

- Comment: Some others are saying that we are expensive and want to know how it’s calculated. We have to focus on services and products. But this has to be nuanced. - In publishing we’ll develop a guideline about how long it takes to develop this and how much roughly it will cost etc. We give a global cost. - Q: Which proportion of the deficit for CRPs goes to each CRP? - A: We don’t know, it depends on the CRPs… For the current L&F it doesn’t look to bad.

2. Individual updates

(We did a speed dating exercise for this and shared updates about our work and deliverables from the past 6 months and upcoming 2 months).

3. Planning 2016

(We highlighted key upcoming blocks of work for 2016. This is the result). CKM team meeting 1.jpg

4. Team dynamics and collaboration

(In this session we did a Samoan Circle to discuss issues, platforms, tools, modalities to work together. Here are the results)...

  • Find more spaces between Nairobi and Addis --> e.g. once every 2 months organise a joint ADD-NBO meeting
  • Work with Susan (who doesn't have a team)
  • P&C meetings: James to push
  • Highlight our work in books and publications (make sure the name of designers etc. appear)
  • We need to articulate our objective as one group, not as three teams.
  • Be clear about what we offer (linkage with pricing too)
  • Africa RISING: Susan not involved. So how can we bridge such gaps? Can we not contribute on Twitter across projects etc.?
  • Focus on what we do as a unit, on projects
  • How do we work with embedded folks and how can we support them and make them feel part of CKM?
  • At budgeting stage, think as one team
  • Clarify the charging system
  • Shift attention from what we cost to what we do and how we add value
  • Decentralise authority to the regions?
  • Any projects needs all our different work parts
  • Develop an agenda for e.g. Dagu's and Nairobi gatherings rather than generate them last minute
  • We've lost some CKM folks too and haven't filled those gaps. We are doing more work and need to recognise this
  • Use Asana to see everything and help us do the KRAs
  • But prioritise these tools as they work differently for different people
  • What is happening with Peter?
  • Internal communication at ILRI: how do we work on this?
  • Make the budget clear, transparent.
  • Use campaigns: Develop a concept note
  • Develop an impact story about CKM's role/added value in bringing about impact
  • Fill the gaps left by people who left

Some key discussion or action points are emerging:

  1. We will organise a joint ADD-NBO meeting and see if we want to have them every 2 months
  2. We will discuss the following issues at that meeting:

How do we work with embedded comms folks? Internal communication at ILRI

  1. We should discuss the following at any given avenue:

Filling the gaps of staff who left Developing a story of impact about CKM role How to make sure we give credits to all roles in our publications

  1. ELB, JS and SMM (at least) will develop a concept note about campaigns to share with Shirley.
  2. In Nairobi and Addis, we will organise a simple ongoing Dagu/Friday comms gathering to discuss whether and how we want to continue with those regular meetings

5. Next steps

(We folded this quickly to remind everyone to finalize KRAs for 2015 and to get prepared for KRAs 2016, which are partly derived from our own plans on big ideas etc. and partly derived from what the ILRI teams and regions will come up with.)