Communicating nutrition research beyond academia is a critical part of improving nutrition. It is also a core activity of the National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN) approach towards informing policy and influencing the policymaking process for improved nutrition.
To improve communication skills for nutrition researchers in Ethiopia, IFPRI and the Ethiopia Public Health Institute (EPHI) hosted two communications workshops at the EPHI training center in December 2019. Over 40 researchers from NIPN, EPHI, and national universities and research institutions learned practical tips for communicating research results, blog writing, and presentation skills. The training was delivered by Chris Rue, senior program manager for IFPRI’s Compact2025 initiative.
The interactive workshop aimed to teach researchers how to synthesize and craft evidence—often technical in nature—into a story that policymakers can understand and remember. It discussed different modalities for communication, including social media, blogs, presentations, and “elevator pitches” or short, convincing speeches about a single topic.
The trainings preceded the Ethiopia National Nutrition Conference, where poster presenters—who also attended the workshop—delivered one minute presentations on their research topic during plenary. The workshop allowed them to practice these presentations and receive feedback on their presentation skills.
Communicating research is one of many important skills for researchers to have impact on nutrition outcomes. These trainings add another tool in researchers’ toolbox to make their work more impactful and improve nutrition in Ethiopia and beyond.