You can find out more information about the seesions at the Power of In-Between Conference on this page.  A full programme is also available to download here.

Details of all the sessions and the speakers at the conference are listed below with links to a blog record on each session.  Within each blog you can find links to the powerpoint presentations. You can also view all the presentations from the conference here.

Day 1 : Tuesday 1st July

Opening session: welcome from the organisers and introduction to the conference process, objectives and agenda

Address from Dr Anil Kanjee, Executive Director, Centre for Education Quality Improvement, HSRC on behalf of Dr Olive Shisana CEO of South African Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

Session 1: Perspectives on the “problem” of evidence based policy making
A panel discussion explored the problems around information and knowledge flows, processes and structures that inhibit use of research in policy and practice.


  • Dr Temba Masilela, Executive Director, Policy Analysis and Capacity Enhancement Unit, HSRC
  • Megan Lloyd Laney, Communications Advisor, UK Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Matoera Sadan, Senior Policy Analyst, Social Sector, Policy Co-ordination and Advisory Services, the Presidency South Africa – view blog and listen to podcast of presentation 
  • Dr Enver Motala, HSRC Council Member and Independent Counsultant
  • Session 2: How research brokers and intermediaries contribute to evidence based pro-poor policy making: framing the debate

    This presentation shared ideas about the ways in which research brokers and intermediaries contribute to other structures of communication and presented hypotheses to consider over the conference.

    Presenter: Geoff Barnard, Head of Information Department, Institute of Development Studies, UK
    Chair: Faye Reagon, Director of Information Services, HSRC

    Session 3: Exhibition space
    The exhibition space ran throughout the 2 days with time scheduled in the programme to explore it. This was an opportunity for participants to learn more about practice in the sector, to debate and share their ideas.

    Session 4: Interventions for change: from access to action
    These sessions explored interventions that research brokers and intermediaries are undertaking to address different aspects of the problem.

    Parallel 1: Supporting access: interventions that seek to improve the ways in which decision makers are able to access research based information

  • Bangladesh Online Research Network, Dr Ananya Raihan, D Net , Bangladesh;
  • Changing approaches to supporting access the Eldis story, Alan Stanley, IDS, UK;
  • NEDIC Data curation project, Faye Reagon, HSRC, South Africa
  • Discussant and chair: Gracian Chimwaza, Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA), South Africa/Zimbabwe

    Parallel 2: Promoting uptake: interventions aimed at encouraging greater engagement with and use of research based information

  • Philippine Development Policy Research Month, Jennifer Liguton, PIDS, Philippines;
  • MOST Policy Research Tool, Jonathon Carter, HSRC, South Africa
  • Discussant: Joanne Carpenter, RELAY Programme, PANOS UK who shared PANOS work with journalists as a means of creating demand for research
    Chair: Mark Hepworth, Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, UK

    Parallel 3: Connecting knowledges: interventions aimed at “bridging” different worlds of knowledge

  • Governance and Social Development Resource Centre Helpdesk, Andrew McDevitt, GSDRC, UK
  • Implementing Best Practice initiative, Damir Simunic, WA Research SA, Switzerland
  • Discussant and chair: Catherine Fisher, Strategic Learning Initiative, IDS, UK

    Parallel 4: Research communication: case studies that explore innovation and challenges in effective communication of research

  • Yu Ke, Researcher, Capacity Development Unit HSRC
  • Communicating research through the media: a collaboration between the RELAY Programme and the University of Swaziland Research Centre, Gillies Kasongo, PANOS Institute Southern Africa (PSAf), Zambia
  • Discussant and Chair: Andrew Chetley, Healthlink UK

    Session 5: Research brokers and intermediaries in different sectors and contexts
    This session explored the actors, structures and process around evidence based pro poor policy and practice in different sectors.

    Parallel 1: HIV and AIDS programming

  • Sarah Page, Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfaids)
  • Zolile Machi , Health Economics & HIV/AIDS Research Divison (HEARD)
  • Discussant and Chair : Andree Gacion, Aids

    Parallel 2: Agriculture

  • Supporting food security, James Nguo, Executive Director, Arid Lands Information network, Kenya
  • Challenges and cases in research-policy linkages in the agriculture sector: reflections from the early days of the e-agriculture initiative, Gracian Chimwaza, ITOCA, South Africa
  • Discussant: Mary Mbekani, National Small Holder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) and Research Into Use Programme
    Chair: Freida McCormack, id21 editor, IDS, UK

    Parallel 3: Gender

  • Digital Storytelling for Transformation, Sally Jean Shackelton, Women’sNet
  • BRIDGE approach to supporting gender mainstreaming, Adrian Bannister, BRIDGE, IDS
  • Chair and discussant: Jenny Radloff APC

    Parallel 4: Local-global linkages

  • SARDC Virtual Library, Tiwongwe Machiwenyika, SARDC, Zimbabwe,
  • Tanzania Online, Abdallah Hassan, Economica and Social Research Foundation, (ESRF) Tanzania,
  • Experiences from Southern African Regional Poverty Network and Affiliated Network for Social Accountability Africa (ANSA), Richard Humphries, South Africa,
  • GDNet: Connecting policy related research regionally and globally GDNet Regional co-ordinators from various regions
  • Chair: Richard Humphries, HSRC

    Day 1 Close: Evening social event


    Day 2: Wednesday 2nd July

    Session 1: Reflections on the first day of the conference
    This session gave participants a chance to share their reflections on day one of the conference.

    Session 2: The changing world of research communication
    This session looked at what is changing in the world of research communication from the perspective of people working in information and communication roles and at the supply end of research.

    Panel Participants:

  • Buhle Mbambo-Thata, Director, Library Services UNISA and Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL) South Africa
  • Megan Lloyd Laney, Communications Advisor, DFID Research Department, UK
  • Dr. Xola Mati, Chief Operations Officer, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
  • Chair: David Barnard, SANGONET

    Session 3: Practical issues in research brokering and intermediation

    Workshop 1: Web 2.0 and what it means for brokering and intermediation
    Led by: Peter Ballantyne and Chris Addison, EUFORIC / R4D
    The emergence of ‘social’ or ‘participatory’ web 2.0 applications and tools provides many opportunities for research information brokers and intermediaries to get closer to their audiences and constituencies. The same tools also pose some threats and challenges to organizations working with research information and knowledge. This workshop built on the experiences of Euforic and R4D – exploring both the transforming possibilities and the emerging challenges associated with web 2.0 in research contexts.

    Workshop 2: Identifying outcomes and impact, monitoring and information of research brokering and intermediation
    Led by: Anna Downie, Strategic Learning Initiative, IDS
    This session looked at issues around the monitoring and evaluation of research brokers and intermediaries. It’s not easy evaluating the impact of research communication- whether we are looking at its influence on knowledge, learning, decision-making or development outcomes- and this is even more difficult for intermediaries and brokers of a wide range of research. This session shared some of the experiences of evaluation in the IDS Knowledge Services and gave participants a chance to discuss some key questions: What challenges do we all face? What sorts of outcomes, indicators, frameworks and methods are relevant?

    Workshop 3: Edge of Networks: success factors in virtual collaboration and networking for research-policy linkages
    Led by: Damir Simunic, Edge of Networks, WA Research SA
    This workshop introduced Edge of Network (; a new concept describing important success factors in virtual collaboration and networking. It has emerged from seven years of trial and error work in virtual collaboration in a number of large international organizations and non-profits including WHO, UNAIDS, UNHCR. The workshop went beyond the theory and introduce very concrete success factors, important for brokering research and virtual collaboration in general.

    Workshop 4: Uncovering Open Access: seizing the moment and making it work for you
    Led by: Martie van Deventer, Head of Information Services Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CISR) South Africa
    There is extensive coverage and discussion in various disciplines and the literature regarding open access. The open access movement is supported and advanced by a wide range of interest groups and activities such as national and international organisations, the academic community, governments and publishers. While open access is gaining strength and popularity as the new model for dissemination of information, there are still many unresolved issues particularly in its application. This session covered challenges and rewards in this area and focuses particularly on the implementation of Institutional Repositories and the development of publishing models.

    LUNCH and Exhibition Space

    Session 4: “Thorny issues” for research brokers and intermediaries
    This session asked to identify issues had emerged over the conference so far for further discussion in small groups.
    Chair: Catherine Fisher (IDS)

    Session 5: How do research brokers and intermediaries contribute to evidence based policy making? Revisited
    An invited panel was asked to reflect on whether the hypotheses and ideas introduced in Session 2 on Day 1 have been upheld. The panel reflected on the significance of the event and indicated to future action.

    Panel members:

  • Ananya Raihman, D-Net, Bangladesh
  • Catherine Fisher, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK
  • James Nguo, Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) Kenya
  • Jane Ireri, African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), Kenya
  • Chair: Geoff Barnard, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK

    Session 6: Closing remarks


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