Visibility of social science research in Serbia to the wider (non-scientific) audience is low. Researchers mainly publish in scientific journals that are only read by their peers; research institutes and faculties do not present themselves and their core expertise well to different audiences (policymakers, CSOs, media and the wider public).
Poor communication of research results is also reflected in a lack of space for a dialogue among social science researchers on specific topics, as well as a lack of space for continuous dialogue between policymakers and social science researchers. With some exceptions, social sciences are not presented in public debates.
On the other hand, there is an increasing need for social science research to become more visible and better communicated with the public and different audiences. In line with the Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development 2016 – 2020, research institutions will need to develop communication strategies, in order to ensure better outreach and impact in the society; research results will have to be visualised and ‘translated’ into language appropriate for the wider audience.
Intervention Logic +
In order to support better communication of social science research results, as well as to develop a platform for knowledge sharing and exchange among different actors, PERFORM supported the establishment of a web platform for promotion of research results on different socio-economic issues in Serbia – Monitoring Social Situation in Serbia (MONS).
MONS is the result of a joint effort of two reputable think tanks - SeConS
that have carried out policy relevant analysis and research on socio-economic situation in Serbia during the last decade. During the first phase of the intervention, PERFORM supported SeConS and FREN to look for successful models of similar web portals in Europe, learn from their experiences (through workshop and expert support) and develop a clear strategy for the establishment and functioning of the web portal, along with the web portal structure and content. In the second phase, PERFORM will provide support to the operation and promotion of the web portal, as well as the development of income streams for funding the operation of MONS (alternative to PERFORM) beyond 2017/18.
The main objectives of MONS are to:
- Introduce new ways of communicating social science research results to the wider audience;
- Bring more research evidence on various socio-economic issues into relevant policymaking processes;
- Engage social science researchers, policy makers and other actors in a dialogue on different socio-economic issues;
- Establish effective mechanism for collaboration among social science researchers.
Expected Results +
- Web platform for interactive communication and promotion of social science research results of SeConS and FREN on socio-economic issues in Serbia is established and will launch on 27 April 2017;
- Increased capacities of social science researchers gathered around SeConS & FREN to better communicate research results;
- New insights and solutions on neglected socio-economic issues, based on the results of research of SeConS and FREN are communicated with different audiences in an interactive way;
- An online community (researchers, policymakers, CSOs, media, citizens) that actively uses the web portal to discuss socio-economic issues is built around the web portal;
- Web portal is recognised as a credible source of information on socio-economic issues in Serbia by different stakeholders (researchers, policymakers, CSOs, media, citizens).
Next steps to expand systemic change +
MONS will publish high quality research results in a simple and interactive format, so that a broader audience is reached. Researchers who publish their results on the web portal will see the benefits of improved communication, such as their increased visibility, better knowledge-sharing and exchange. This will support changes in communication practices in social sciences, so that social science research has better outreach to different audiences and greater impact. MONS will also open a space for a dialogue and exchange among social science researchers and other stakeholders on relevant socio-economic issues.