Training and reporting for GDN in Lima

Last month CommsConsult was asked once again to provide communication training to the Japanese awards finalists at the annual GDN conference. This year the conference was held in Lima, Peru, and Nyasha, our training unit manager, winged her way over from our office in Zimbabwe to provide the finalists with key training and advice in presentation skills and research communication. The Japanese awards are split into two categories: Most Innovative Development Project (MIDP); and Outstanding Research on Development (ORD). This year’s finalists were:



  • Ms. Ana Mickovska-Raleva (FYR Macedonia)– Teaching ‘Learning to Learn’ competence for the knowledge-based society [sub-theme 1: Skills for Tomorrow]
  • Dr. Marcos Agurto (Peru)– The effect of social interactions between economically disadvantaged college students and wealthy ones on social networks composition, soft skills accumulation and social preferences and discriminatory behavior: Experimental evidence from the Peruvian social program Beca18 [sub-theme 4: Research and Education]
  • Dr. Gloria Carrión Fonseca (Nicaragua)– The Political Economy of Public Financing of Education and its Impact on Inequality across Gender Lines in Nicaragua [sub-theme 2: Public Policy and Public Finance]

Each finalist was required to present their research/project to a panel of judges at the conference where the winners would be decided. The training provided by CommsConsult hones each finalist’s skills in speaking and presenting their ideas clearly. We also work with each of them on an individual level, as well as harnessing the peer group’s collective knowledge and experience, to improve and enhance the materials they have developed for presentation.

Commsconsult have now been delivering this training at the GDN conference for six years and we always enjoy it. The work has taken us from Hungary to Columbia, the Philippines to Morocco and now Peru. Over the years it has allowed us to work with some truly inspiring individuals and researchers from organisations such as the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society and the BBA Bal Mitra Gram (Child Friendly Village Model) in India- whose founder, Kailash Satyarthi, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

It is always interesting bringing such a diverse group of individuals into one room and getting them to share ideas and experiences around research communication.

20160317_083539_resized[7]This year however, our work was not over when the training ended. Nyasha was asked to stay on throughout the conference to provide social reporting services. This year’s conference was focused on ‘Education for Development: Quality and Inclusion for Changing Global Human Capital Needs.’ It brought together almost 400 individuals from across the education and development world to discuss some of the most pressing issues in education today. Looking at the quality of teaching, employment needs and expectations as well as early-years social development, the event was alive with innovative and urgent calls to action.

Nyasha was there throughout capturing video interviews with key participants, tweeting live news and views and coordinating digital conference newsletters with remote support from Laurie Huggett, our editorial manager. So while Nyasha was energetically buzzing around in the beautiful sunshine of Lima and the hustle and bustle of the Global Development Conference, Laurie was busy back in the UK, in the less sunny and rather more sedate Cornwall.

Providing social reporting services remotely is always interesting- you end up living in another country’s time zone- trying to capture and curate news and information in real time for the conference participants.- Laurie Huggett

As well as daily newsletters CommsConsult produced a pre-conference bulletin designed to foster engagement around #GDNedu2016 on social media, and providing links to key resources. Similarly, a couple of weeks after the conference we compiled a final newsletter which was sent out to a wider audience including a detailed summary from Ramona Angelescu Naqvi, the conference director, with links to videos and presentations from the event. All the newsletters are available to view online here.

The conference may be over but the conversation still goes on- #GDNedu2016 trended throughout the conference in Lima. You can view all the latest social media activity in this tagboard put together by the CommsConsult team.

So Nyasha is now safely back in Zimbabwe and has caught up on some sleep (and Laurie is still in Cornwall)! But, as always, the experiences of our work in Lima will stay with us. CommsConsult has come away with a wealth of new inspiration both from the awards trainees and the themes within the conference. We are already looking forward to what the next GDN conference will bring!

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