Communicating science

Interviewing | Writing briefs in English and Spanish | Communicating science | Strategic media placement | Communications accompaniment

I have been regularly contracted to work by the Water Group for the Stockholm Environment Institute to help communicate their research to policy-makers and other key stakeholders in Colombia, Bolivia and the US. This has required delving into highly technical scientific research and then making that research accessible and understandable in the form of policy briefs that are shared with a wide range of interested stakeholders from government officials to coffee farmers.  I have had to work fluently in English and Spanish, delivering to tight deadlines. I have also supported the Water Group staff in improving their own communication skills.

Results

  • Briefing in English and Spanish on the optimum policy measures for managing water resources in the water-scarce region of La Paz/El Alto. This briefing got considerable media coverage in 2016 as a drought affected water supplies in the capital city of Bolivia.
  • Series of briefings on SEI projects in Colombia that have analysed water supply/needs using a participatory process in several regions of the country. The briefings and fact sheets which described the research, methodology and results were very well-received and informed critical decision-making processes.
  • Web article describing the innovative work SEI has led in the area of groundwater management based on my interviews with staff. I also worked with the team to write an oped and to successfully place it in a strategic Californian newspaper, the Sacramento Bee.

 

Nick Buxton has supported our efforts to communicate technical work in a language accessible to decision makers. Nick has collaborated with SEI since 2013 on various fact sheets and discussion briefs reporting on the water management challenges under climate change in Bolivia and Colombia. More recently he collaborated in producing an op-ed about the California drought and the technical and participatory solutions that can inform better decisions. Nick’s style to report on these issues focuses on translating technical terminology into the essence of practical points required to inform stakeholders and decision makers. His work is reliable and responsible, and we hope to continue working with him in years to come.(Marisa Escobar, Senior Scientist, Stockholm Environment Institute)

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