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Professional networks, collaborations and partnerships

Andrew Campbell Director Research Institute for the Environment & Livelihoods

1. Knowledge 101 2. Applied Research

3. Networks, collaborations and partnerships 4. A public policy detour

My lenses
‡ Farming background Cavendish (South West Victoria) (South ‡ Studied Forestry (Creswick& Melbourne) Creswick& ‡ Vic Govt extension officer, Shepparton, Bendigo&Stawell Shepparton, Bendigo& ‡ Manager, Potter Farmland Plan 1984-88 1984‡ National LandcareFacilitator 1989-92 LandcareFacilitator 1989‡ Post-grad studies (Rural Sociology & Soft Systems), PostHolland &France 1992-95 1992‡ Senior Executive, Australian Government 1995-99 Executive, 1995‡ 7 years CEO of Land & Water Australia 2000-06 2000‡ 4 years Managing Director Triple Helix Consulting 2007-10 2007‡ Director, RIEL, CDU 2011³ 2011³

RIEL Context
‡ Extraordinary juxtaposition of natural and cultural heritage ‡ Major resource management, conservation and social issues ‡ Science that can¶t be done anywhere else ‡ Huge development pressures and opportunities


RIEL Research Themes
‡ Natural Resources-based Livelihoods Resourcesí Dr Natasha Stacey

‡ Coastal and marine ecology and management
‡ Prof Karen Gibb

‡ Freshwater ecology and management
‡ Prof Michael Douglas

‡ Savanna management and wildlife conservation
‡ Prof Keith Christian

‡ Tropical Resource Futures
‡ Dr Stefan Maier

Professional networks
‡ First, work out what profession you are in
± Discipline? ± Career path? ± Life goals?

‡ It s OK to have several, in parallel or in sequence ‡ Think about what you want to get out of the network:
± Contacts & mentors for career advancement ± Professional feedback and technical input ± Access to other people with complementary skills & resources (including their wider contact networks) ± The fun of working with people you like

Applied R&D
four types of research (ABS):
pure basic; strategic basic; applied; and developmental This talk focuses onthe last 3, especially applied
‡ Applied research seeks to acquire new knowledge with a specific application in view ‡ We know the application context ‡ We know the intended end-users & beneficiaries end‡ We can tease out the nature of the knowledge need ‡ We can identify prospective adoption pathways

From a public policy perspective, there are 3 main reasons to invest in applied research:

1. To help us make better decisions & policy 2. To underpin the innovation process 3. So that we can learn as we go along
² in the words of Peter Cullen:

³at least we should be making new mistakes´

RIEL Knowledge

‡ In universities, we are in the knowledge business ‡ In RIEL, we also do some basic (discovery) science, and we build research capacity through HDR and ECR training ‡ But a significant chunk of our portfolio is applied research, which has implications for our inquiry processes and the way we manage knowledge assets

Knowledge 101
‡ Knowledge happens between the ears ‡ An individual cognitive process and highly contextual:
± ³I only know what I know when I need to know it´

‡ Revealed in Artifacts (writing, art, formulae, products etc), Skills, Heuristics, Experience and Natural talent(Dave Snowden) ‡ Across quite different domains:
± Including local, Indigenous, scientific, strategic(organisational)

‡ And different sectors:
± research, policy, management, planning, extension, education, monitoring

‡ people default to known, trusted, accessible sources:
± credibility, dialogue, easy access & honesty all critical ± timing is crucial: knowledge is most useful when it is needed 10

Collaborative Applied R&D


Crucial for early career researchers Great for sorting out where, on what, and with whom to work
Efficiency in investment
Best use of limited resources Builds critical mass Reduces duplication Sharing risk

Be very clear why you are collaborating Invest in relationships
fund the arrows explicit accountability watching transaction costs

Developing collaborations & partnerships


Collaboration is about relationships
‡ Relationships with end-users (and intermediaries) are critical for adoption of R&D (and hence impact and ROI) ‡ Relationships are:
± Crucial in building critical mass and research capacity ± Fundamental if collaborations are to achieve their potential for leadership or even just small c coordination within their sector ± Very important in securing and retaining resources (funding, staff and in-kind contributions) ± and they are critical for managing risk, especially when things go awry

Tips & Tools
‡ 100 Key Influencers list, constantly updated
± including rising stars, industry leaders and Minister s kitchen cabinet

‡ Respect the no surprises rule, especially with funders ‡ Timing is everything, and face to face is best
± Breakfasts, face to face briefings (facilitated one to one), event invites

‡ Good relationships need work - on-going
± Fund the arrows, not just the boxes ± Value continuity (staff turnover affects both ends) ± Try to share credit, celebrate wins together, keep invites flowing

‡ Develop adoptability filters
± Tailored to end user needs (involve them in design)

Knowledge management


Extending your knowledge network
‡ Identify the most influential blogs in your domain
‡ Academic, practitioner, political or whatever

‡ Publish, publish, publish
‡ But not just in journals ± rewrite publications for blogs ‡ Tweet and FB alerts to your piece

‡ Be strategic with conferences
‡ Not just who will be there, but your capacity for interaction ‡ Look for more interactive µquality time¶ events (e.g. workshops)

‡ Negotiate performance rewards with your supervisor


Bill Dennison s perspective

‡ Professor Bill Dennison, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science ‡ Sees good science as moving along a spectrum from Discovery, through Integration into Discovery, Application ‡ Bill¶s Integration and Application Network is developing outstanding synthesis products and services ² RIEL partnerships pending« ‡ Check out

A public policy detour

‡ Governments are a key audience for much CDU research ‡ Policy instrument choice, resource allocation, planning, regulation, management, incentives each need tailored R&D

Big picture reflections
Terry Moran, Institute of Public Administration, 15 July 2009: Reflecting on the challenges of public sector reform:

³ By and large, I believe the public service gives good advice on
incremental policy improvement. Where we fall down is in longterm, transformational thinking; the big picture stuff.We are still more reactive than proactive; more inward than outward looking. We are allergic to risk, sometimes infected by a culture of timidity«. The APS still generates too much policy within single departments and agencies to address challenges that span a range of departments and agencies« We are not good at recruiting creative thinkers. ´

Reflections (2)
Two countervailing forces in Australian policy and politics:
1. An unprecedented analytical base, comprehensive, deep, broad, led by authoritative people with a long national view:
± ± ± ± ± Garnaut report and its updates Henry tax review Beale biosecurity review Hawke review of EPBC act Drought policy review


A political discourse dominated by returning budget to surplus ASAP, cutting programs to fund flood and storm rebuilding
± Apparent preference at all levels of government to fund high profile emergency response & restoration after the fact, rather than invest in less visible prevention, systemic measures & risk mitigation ² rampant myopia


Three lenses of knowledge & evidence
Political Judgement:
Policy problem

diffuse, fluid and adversarial

Inform and influence policy response

Professional Practices:
organisational knowledge, implementation, practical experience

Scientific Research:
systematic approaches, quantitative and qualitative. experimental and actionoriented
Source: Brian Head AJPM 2008, 67(1)

The Science-Policy Interface
‡ Contested, crowded, contextual ‡ Stakes high, decisions urgent, facts uncertain or disputed ‡ Science thrives on a contest of ideas
± This can be problematic in public debate (e.g. climate change)

‡ Public officials just one of many sources of advice ‡ Ministers/governments prefer wins, credit, initiatives
± over problems, conflict, confusion

‡ Durable relationships are critical
± based on mutual respect and trust

The nature of policy questions
‡ Policy issues tend to be in the applied research domain ‡ Key questions revolve around ³What should we do?´ ‡ What policy settings or interventions will have what impact? ‡ Who will be affected? How? How much? When? and Where?


Scientists entering policy debates are often ill-equipped
³When scientists do enter the political arena, they must understand they are playing to different rules from those used in science and need to learn the rules of politics and the media. Unless they understand the rules and tactics of policy debate it is like them walking on to a tennis court equipped only with golf sticks. Professor Peter Cullen

The knowledge-seeking behaviour knowledgeof policy makers (after Cullen et al 2000)
‡ Senior policy makers are time-poor, information-overloaded people, timeinformationmost of whom don t read much unless they have to; ‡ Only know what they need to know when they need to know it ‡ Have a very short-term, reactive perspective short‡ Rarely stay long in the same job deep content knowledge is rare ‡ Want to summarise info in less than 1 page for Minister/top brass ‡ Averse to anything too complicated ‡ Default to trusted sources, often in-house, even when they suspect inthose sources may be out of date or incomplete ‡ May have a jaundiced opinion of science, believing it is:
± too slow and too expensive ± answering questions that no-one has asked, always after more $$ no26

Young professionals
‡ Will continue to be in great demand ‡ Can shape remarkable careers ‡ Mobility and flexibility crucial, BUT;
± Build on a solid base of skills and expertise ± Understand yourself, how you relate to others, how others see you ± Take time out to sharpen the saw (several times) ± Cultivate mentors, patrons, exemplars

‡ Don¶t forget to have a life!

‡ Universities are in the knowledge business ‡ Research funders increasingly expect research outputs to be relevant, useful and used ‡ These demands are in tension with academic reward systems ‡ We need to complement research quality metrics with impact measures, based on an understanding of the knowledge needs of our clients and stakeholders, internally and externally ‡ Good collaborative applied research requires explicit attention to knowledge systems and processes

‡ If we get this right, we can make a RIEL difference

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