08 May 2023, Nadi Fiji – The Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC) is working with eight Pacific countries to enhance and integrate knowledge brokerage on climate change into aspects of the work they are doing in their communities.
Knowledge brokerage is an important tool to build Pacific resilience as it helps to break down and simplify information related to climate change that is disseminated to the community and grassroots level. As the regional centre of innovation, training and research, the Pacific Climate Change Centre acts as a knowledge broker by linking existing training that are available and facilitating new training courses that are specific for the region.
One such training on Knowledge Brokerage was held in Fiji from 1-3 May 2023, and was attended by participants from the Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The participants found the training relevant, informative, and extremely useful.
“I’m inspired to take the knowledge that I have learnt back to my work. It is a great opportunity for myself and other delegates from Tonga to enhance our knowledge with regards to knowledge brokerage,” said Mr Siosiua Latu, Principal Assistant Secretary, Head for Information & Communication Division, from Tonga. “We all know how important and vital it is to share and disseminate information. The decision making will be based on how we provide the information from producer to end user.”
Ms Moana Tetauru, of Cook Islands National Environment Service, emphaised the importance of knowledge brokerage as a tool to make a difference in the communities.
“It was very interesting hearing the other Pacific Island countries’ perspectives and how important a Communications Officer role is, when dealing especially in the Climate Change and Environment space,” she said. “The National Environment Service currently has an effective Communications Strategy and Strategic Framework and I look forward to working with the PCCC team in ensuring Knowledge Brokerage is present and communicated effectively within the Cook Islands.”
For Ms Perise Kerslake and Ms Theresa Fidow-Pese, of Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), it was their first training on knowledge brokerage.
“It was great to learn from the experiences of other countries,” said Ms Kerslake. Added Ms Fidow-Pese: “The knowledge gained from this workshop will be useful with our everyday work in terms of gathering and collating information, simplifying technical words into simple terms, creating infographics, translations and disseminating them to the public through different medians.”
The training in Fiji was part of ongoing work. The outcomes will inform and contribute to the development of a Knowledge Brokerage Planning Framework that is adaptable to Pacific Islands Countries and Territories, the establishment of a Knowledge Brokerage Community of Practice, and the formulation of a directory of country-level knowledge brokerage activities.
The Manager of the Pacific Climate Change Centre, Ms Ofa Maasi-Kaisamy, said the ability to relate information and findings from the latest science reports to members of the community is a vital part of the PCCC’s work.
“Having access to the latest science and reports is very valuable, but being able to synthesize and translate this so that it’s understood and actionable by those who make decisions at all levels is equally important,” she said. “It is our vision that bringing practitioners together in this knowledge brokerage space will boost the understanding of how important this task is, as well as provide a space for knowledge exchange and best practices across the region.”
The three-day workshop aimed to enhance understanding of the role of the Pacific Climate Change Centre in Knowledge Brokerage and introduce existing regional knowledge brokerage initiatives, tools, and processes in the Pacific to the participants.
The training also explored country level knowledge brokerage related activities and opportunities; introduce the draft Terms of Reference to inform the establishment of a Community of Practice as well as introduce the draft Framework for Knowledge Brokerage for the Pacific region.
The Terms of Reference for a Community of Practice for Knowledge Brokerage and the draft Framework for the Pacific are the two key outcomes of the workshop with the aim to build partnerships between the providers and users of climate information, improve access to scientifically robust, practical information, that is available to the right people at the right time and in formats that they can use; all while ensuring that this information drives greater action on climate change.
While getting over the hurdles from information to knowledge is usually met without many challenges, the bridge between knowledge to inform decision-making and subsequent action requires careful and contextual navigation, particularly in the Pacific. The in-person training was made possible with funding support from Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) and in partnership with experts from SPREP and the Australia Pacific Climate Alumini Network (APCAN)
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