Impact and learning

SciDev.Net strives to continually learn and understand from its audiences. The more we understand our impact the more we can respond to the evolving needs of people using our website and services, and provide products that offer enduring value.

Learning Series

The SciDev.Net Learning Series helps to raise our profile within the sector through innovative research and easy to understand content. It takes our collected information and presents it in accessible reports that can be used to help you to improve your work too. The series is part of the M&E programme and provides valuable lessons regarding the mainstreaming of evidence for policymaking, development and when building a culture of science.

IIED found the Mapping the Impacts of Science Journalism inspiring, and it has contributed to our analysis and understanding of how IIED affects changes in behaviour, knowledge and debate.

Clair Grant-Salmon - Audience Development Manager, Communications at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Learning series

Tell us your story

We want to understand more about how our information in used, and what impact it has had — both on individuals' activities and on the wider social context of work.

As a regular user of the SciDev.Net website, we know that you value our content, but we would like to understand more about how you use it. What impact has it had – on your own activities and in the wider social context in which you work?

This information will help us to provide you with the information that matters most to you and to increase our contribution to key areas of development. The results of last year's survey were also published in our popular Learning series report, Mapping the impact of science journalism.

You can tell us your story here.

SciDev.Net helps Sri Lanka tackle food security

“SciDev.Net enables me to be up-to-date with global developments — gets my brain ticking on new innovative approaches!”

Sarath Abayawardana, director of Sri Lanka's National Sci​ence Foundation

Sarath Abayawardana is director of Sri Lanka's National Science Foundation (NSF). His organisation supports and promotes scientific research projects, setting up multidisciplinary research teams and bidding for grants to fund research programmes. Abayawardana tells us he uses SciDev.Net regularly and extensively in his work.

He says SciDev.Net has helped the foundation develop a mission-oriented research programme on food security for Sri Lanka. The programme aims to identify and address the underlying issues threatening food security. Rural farmers with small-holdings, the marginalised urban poor and those affected by the prolonged civil conflict will all benefit.

SciDev.Net reports regularly on food security issues in the developing world, and Abayawardana says that it helps him gather the background information he needs to underpin the research programme. "The research programme is in its very early stages now, but continued use of SciDev.Net will help us implement it" he says.

Abayawardana told us he also uses SciDev.Net to develop his staff, building capacity among his research administrators and encouraging them to maintain a professional approach to their work.

Our weekly email alert has even inspired him to create an e-newsletter, "ScinnoTech Alert" circulated to about 2,500 scientists and other professionals within Sri Lanka. Abayawardana is fully aware of the benefits that come from encouraging the exchange of scientific information. Thanks to SciDev.Net, his e-newsletter is fostering just such a culture in Sri Lanka.

SciDev.Net helps develop policies in Southern Sudan

“It has helped me and my colleagues to achieve great things in my work as well as my region.”

Manila Keji Albino, inspector for environmental health, working for the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and Environment in Southern Sudan

The government of Southern Sudan, formed after Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement, has few formal policies, laws or regulations. So Manila Keji Albino has turned to SciDev.Net for ideas on how to improve health, the environment and energy policies.

Within the Ministry he has worked on developing an environmental policy for Southern Sudan. "I really appreciate SciDev.Net for the knowledge that I gain through reading their articles" says Albino, explaining that "individually I am capable of solving environmental problems".

Southern Sudan faces land degradation, poor sanitation, water pollution and urbanisation, alongside the larger problem of climate change. Albino is part of the Southern Sudan National Environment Association, a group tackling some of these issues by educating the community. They aim to help people understand their environment so they can live sustainably.

Albino knows that "sharing ideas is very important in applying science to development". He uses SciDev.Net material to help the local government educate local communities and encourage them to get involved in solving local problems such as how to treat water taken directly from the river, how to raise awareness of water diseases and their management, and how best to use water for agriculture and forestry. SciDev.Net has also helped him recognise that climate change is real.

SciDev.Net's international material on issues similar to those that Albino faces, as well as on new technologies and their potential applications in developing countries, are particularly valuable.

And Albino wants to see us doing even more: "countries such as Southern Sudan are lacking skills in technology, development and decision making, and need support from scientific communities" he says.