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11 September 2023

The Impact Centre’s policy brief writing retreat

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The Impact Centre held a policy brief writing retreat on the 4th to 6th of September 2023, at the Pepperclub Hotel in Cape Town. The aim of the workshop was to equip participants with the skills to write and disseminate effective policy briefs to enhance the visibility of their research to policymakers. Sixteen researchers from the level of Research Director to PhD attended the workshop and 13 policy briefs were drafted in this workshop. In opening the workshop Dr Konosoang Sobane reminded participants about the important factors in the policy arena, since their work needs to inform policy and transform lives.

Apart from learning about the structure and process of policy briefs, participants also gained knowledge on how data visualizations such as charts, graphs, maps, and infographics help convey complex information in a more understandable and engaging way. As Nonkululeko Dlamini of the Impact Centre noted, “Including data visualisations in a policy brief can significantly enhance the clarity and impact of your message.”

The highlight of the workshop was the Impact Centre’s initiative of translating policy briefs into audio-visual forms to enhance visibility and impact. The HSRC’s Brand Manager and videographer, Antonio Erasmus delivered training on how audio-visual communication provides a richer and more engaging experience to those consuming the content.  

He elaborated on how, as cinematographers, they are able to use different camera angles to foreground the human element in messaging. Erasmus also provided training on etiquette and best practice when in front of the camera. Three vodcasts were produced in this workshop, which will be published later as the HSRC policy brief podcast series.

Colleagues preparing for their vodcasts

The team also celebrated Dr Yasser Buchana’s birthday in the true spirit of humanity. Happy birthday to Dr Yasser Buchana!

Watch this space for the HSRC policy brief series!

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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