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Home arrow Working blocks arrow Work Block 6: Organization of project results and dissemination to stakeholders
Work Block 6: Organization of project results and dissemination to stakeholders PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joost   
Coordinator: 25 – MEDES, IT
Participants: 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28


a)    Development of a Harmonised Information System (HIS) that will be the centre for comprehensively archiving, documenting and giving access to all the material collected, organized, and developed in DESIRE.
b)    To disseminate all information within the project, so that all partners can access the information
c)    To make the HIS internet based in a number of languages
d)    To construct decision support tools to suggest “best management practices” as determined by research and testing in the study sites.
e)    To prepare guidance and training packages to enable facilitators to bridge the information gap between scientists and stakeholders in the partner countries.
f)    To disseminate the DESIRE products to the international community, in an international  DESIRE conference and through special sessions at other conferences

General information
An integrated project provides the platform to collect and evaluate a wide range of project results and organize them as products for dissemination according to the needs of users. The products will support the objectives of the whole project. The starting point will be the development of a web-based harmonized information system (HIS) to collect and organize results. This will not only house data collections, but also research, survey and monitoring methods; models and interactive tools; and sub-systems connected from parallel projects or other sources. The HIS will list, synthesise and integrate the new indicators for qualitative and quantitative evaluation of land degradation and desertification status emerging from the study sites (WB2); and the strategies, conservation measures and “best management practices” developed and evaluated in WBs 3, 4 and 5, at scales from local to regional to global. This will entail WB6 developing and applying a clear conceptual framework for a) integrating the project output, b) integrating socio-economic and bio-physical data and information and c) evaluating the project outcomes.  
Dissemination formats will be matched to the user groups identified in WBs 4 and 5, including land managers, extensionists, educationalists, policy makers, scientists, National Action Programmes, UNCCD.

There can be an imaginative diversity of dissemination products, available in a range of languages: educational web pages including interactive decision support tools; decision support manuals on paper, handbooks, booklets, information sheets, CDs, DVDs, and PowerPoint presentations; simple field-scale diagnostic tools. Some existing formats from preceding projects may be adapted, and new-style products will also be developed. Some of the products will require accompanying training plans and training material, in the shape of PowerPoint presentations, manuals or workshops. Many of these will be required to support WB4 in the implementation and monitoring phase. It is important to provide training packages that are transferable, to enable skilled users (facilitators) to train others. Throughout the project DESIRE products will be tested and evaluated by users and stakeholders so that improvements can be made where necessary. Dissemination to new additional users will be through training workshops in the study sites. At the end of the project a conference will be organized to present the whole range of DESIRE products to potential global users, and DESIRE products will also be presented at meetings held by other projects and organisations. The DESIRE website will link to a number of regional and global networks to ensure the widest possible dissemination, e.g. INSPIRE, GEOSS, EU-MEDIN, COST634, UNCCD, UNEP, GEO and LADA. Regular messages will be posted on the networks and emailed directly to network participants to inform interested parties of new developments and new products.

(next page: WP6 deliverables) WP6.1 Planning the Harmonised Information System and formats of DESIRE products
The Harmonised Information System (HIS) will be the centre for comprehensively archiving, documenting and giving access to all the material developed in DESIRE. It will also give access to relevant data available from other interdisciplinary research projects funded under other EU projects and the results of literature searches.
The system will provide the following major functions:
•    an internet-based platform independent client, providing the multi-lingual and interactive access to all data and services;
•    user registration and account management, according to access level within and outside the DESIRE consortium, and intellectual property rights;
•    interactive data entry (which includes data cataloguing);
•    enhanced data search capabilities (which includes, for example, data selection using geographic areas, validity and/or acquisition times, themes, etc.);
•    controlled data access.
Each of the sets of data will be subjected to appropriate validation and quality assurance protocols. Provision will be made to ensure that the HIS fulfils the requirements of a wide range of users (including researchers, stakeholders, decision makers, etc.) and that it can be maintained indefinitely as a major resource for Mediterranean Europe.
User requirements for HIS/DSS: Identification of user requirements, terms of reference, contents and operational capabilities of system and testing. User requirements will be defined in terms of both input and output. Input requires decisions from the DESIRE consortium on the input data sets, sub-systems, models, etc. that will form part of the HIS. The DESIRE consortium will also decide requirements for output, that is the products (databases, decision support tools, training packages, etc.) to be made available both inside the project and for a wide range of users outside the project.
Design and development: definition of HISdesign specifications, initiation and management of system development. Interface with other desertification information systems, introduction to users, testing and evaluation of products. Protocols should be in line with parallel information systems such as the European INSPIRE and GEOSS initiatives.
Design and physical construction: design and physical construction of the HIS and decision support capabilities within the context of other global environmental information systems, and with provision being made for the maintenance of the system after the conclusion of the project.
The management of knowledge and of intellectual property rights will be specified in detail in the consortium agreement. The Commission will advise on the maintenance of intellectual property rights, the protection of pre-existing know-how, the access rights to knowledge or software, data sharing policy, and regulations for the publication of project results.

WP6.2 Collection of input, organization of input and product preparation
The HIS will provide the basis for a catalogue of research results and deliverables as the project progresses. This will allow dissemination within the project, so that all partners can access the information they need for integration activities. Organisation of input will be shared between WBs. Some organisation will take place at the point of origin, e.g. in study site work packages. Some other tasks, such as adding sub-systems, tools, and models, may take place within WB6. For example, new indicators may be added to the list in the sub-system DIS4ME ( the DESERTLINKS Desertification Indicator System for Mediterranean Europe), and DIS4ME may be developed further by Partner 25, MEDES. Within DIS4ME an agricultural practice quality assessment tool (ManPras) has been created. ManPras relates indicators to choice of management practices on a cost-benefit and Soil Conservation Index basis, and the Man Data database, can also be adapted for use in new study sites.
Land degradation indicators will be integrated with a range of remediation strategies in decision support systems targeted specifically at land managers/extensionists and policy-makers. One version will contain indicators and strategies relevant to land managers in different agro-ecosystems, and will be published online and in hard-copy manuals for use in the field. It will be designed to facilitate land managers to monitor and respond to land degradation themselves, without the need for external assistance. A second version will be targeted at policy-makers and will be available online. The indicators and strategies in this version will be relevant at a national and/or regional scale.
A wide range of dissemination products may be produced, in a number of languages, particularly if some existing product formats from past and parallel projects can be adapted and used. On the DESIRE website webpages can be prepared for different user needs, recognising that the information needs of farmers and land managers are not the same as those of policy makers (operating at different spatial scales up to global), or of scientists. These webpages can include interactive decision support tools of varying complexity. The internet is not an accessible medium for everyone. Tools and manuals and presentations can also be produced on CDs or DVDs, especially for those who have PCs or TV screens but no internet, and many will welcome paper manuals and booklets suitable to be taken out in the field. Training for users of the products will also be prepared. This can be in the form of manuals or workshops. It will also be important to train further skilled trainers (facilitators) to maximise dissemination opportunities.
The HIS will collect practical information from the study countries. A common list of required information (on hotspots, brightspots etc.) to be put in the HIS will be decided in WB1. WB2 will identify and list desertification indicators. WB2 needs to determine which indicators are suitable for use by specific users (farmers, land managers, extensionists, policy makers, NAPs, UNCCD, students, schoolchildren, etc.) and how these should be presented in decision support formats. WB3 will provide descriptions of strategies. WB3 needs to determine how the strategies should be detailed in information and decision support formats. WBs 4 and 5 will report results of evaluations of indicators and strategies, including models and interactive tools, to be added to the HIS. The project consortium will provide details of requirements for organization within the HIS. They will also suggest/provide sub-systems, assessment and monitoring tools, models, etc.

The specifications for the dissemination and training material will be planned using existing formats that can be adapted, and new formats where required. Existing formats might include the manual developed and used in Botswana, WOCAT booklets, LUCINDA booklets. Partners will need to decide the formats most suitable for disseminating their research results, according to the budget available. Partners will also need to decide on which products need translation to be multi-language.

The design of products, especially the decision support tools and manuals, will include testing and evaluation with stakeholders and other users so that improvements can be made where necessary.

WP 6.3 Dissemination of DESIRE products
The most important DESIRE products will be decision support tools to suggest “best management practices” as determined by research and testing in the study sites. These will be available on web pages for those who can access this medium, in manuals on paper, and a further range of formats (booklets, leaflets, CDs, DVDs, PowerPoint presentations) as appropriate.
A conference will be organised at the end of the project to present the methods used in DESIRE and all the DESIRE products to scientists and senior policy makers at national and regional level. Finally, we will disseminate the results as well as the research processes we have followed to international organizations on a European level such as the COST 634 erosion network and global networks such as UNCCD, UNEP, GEO and LADA as a method for assessing and responding to land degradation and desertification with a potentially global application. An email circulation list will be used to alert potential users in the internet networks whenever new information or products become available.

6.1.1. Report on user requirements for HIS
6.1.2. Report on organization of HIS inputs available through DESIRE partners
6.1.3. First basic operating mode of HIS on-line
6.2.1. Second operating mode of HIS on-line, including sub-systems
6.2.2. Timetable of input into HIS from study sites, agreed by partners
6.2.3. Specifications for dissemination and training material
6.3.1. Email circulation list and website maintenance
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