June 2020 UpdateJeff Goecker
Dear LASER PULSE Network Colleagues,
We at LASER, like probably all of you, have been working remotely since mid-March. Perhaps for the first time in history, all around the world we have been responding to protect ourselves from a pandemic at the same time and in mostly the same ways. The interconnectedness of the political and economic systems we have put into place since post-WWII has never been more apparent. Journalists and editorial writers speak of the end of globalization as a result of this crisis, but we really have no ‘crystal ball’ view of the outcome. There are, as yet, no reliable data on most of the potential impacts – such as on how covid-19 has impacted global food security, or global security in general, for example. So, there is much speculation, but disruption on this scale just can’t be interpreted except from the vantage point of history. All we know is that our contexts and systems will change, and that this is not only a time of anxiety, but also a time of opportunity to influence the realities to come.
To this end, LASER has been strategizing to connect with you and your institutions in the ways that make sense for now. We can and do plan to return to in-person work through workshops, meetings, conferences – these familiar ways we have connected with many of you already. But we can’t say when it will be safe to resume those activities. So, we have also planned a wide range of online training resources; award rounds followed by in-person or virtual workshops, as we are able; strategies with government partners to support development research partnerships as ‘embedded research translation,’ and many other ways of conducting LASER business that can accomplish our objectives while we are apart. One of our priorities is to make our website much more user-friendly for you, our network members, so you can interact in the ways that add value to your work. You might have responded to a survey recently where you were asked how you want to hear from us, and how often. But we also want to make the LASER PULSE site a place where you and your work can be visible – a blend of LinkedIn, Researchgate.net, and Match.com – where you find what and who you need, and others find you, just for LASER members. But for the next six months or so, while we are also working to optimize our site in those ways, you will also find new training on topics such as:
- Comprehensive Success Factors Analysis (a systems and gap analysis tool for decision-making that identifies those system factors each sector focus area (youth in agriculture, predictors of resilience, water resources, etc.) that must be in place to achieve positive development trends.
- Effective Planning for Your Project’s Communication Strategy
- Utilizing Accessible Language in Research Project Communication
- An Introduction to Using Applied Improvisation Techniques to Enhance Research Translation
- Designing Trainings Toward Research Translation
- Bridging Gaps Between Researchers and Local Communities
In this June 2020 issue of our newsletter/blog, my colleagues will describe some upcoming opportunities that may be of interest to you. If you have any questions about LASER, please feel free to write to me at email@example.com. We wish you courage, strength and health for the coming months.
Andrea Burniske, LASER PULSE Program Director