N2Africa communication

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Alastair Simmons from UK based Strategic Communications, Project and Knowledge Management Consultancy, Taskscape Associates Ltd has joined the project as the acting work stream leader for Project Administration and Communications. Last year Alastair directed some videos to promote and explain the work of the project: and in February this year he facilitated the Annual Project Meeting in Harare. Here he explains briefly, why he believes good communication is key to the success of N2 Africa.

“N2Africa is an ambitious and geographically dispersed project to do Development (applied) Science at speed and volume. When I made the videos last year I saw high levels of commitment and enthusiasm from N2Africa teams, partners and collaborators. Without doubt, everyone means what they say about the purpose of the project. 

This lines up well with a proverb by that most prolific of writers, Anon. It says that good communication is ‘Meaning what you say and saying what you mean’.

So I am also pleased to report that at the Harare meeting, it was well understood by everyone that turning a project idea like ours into reality needs more than commitment and enthusiasm. Saying what we mean both internally and externally is critical to our success.

I’m here to help with saying what we mean, in a clear and timely fashion. Particularly when we share questions, concepts, instructions between ourselves. Doing this faster and more fluently will help meet the challenges of speed and volume that we face on the project.

The Podcaster and N2Africa website provide information for our partners and collaborators, part of a large group of people interested in what we are doing and achieving. This group is growing all the time. Please help us all to keep in touch. At the many meetings you attend, please regularly collect the participant list and email a copy to N2Africa.office@wur.nl so that we can keep everyone up to date.

There is an intranet site for those directly involved. It supports the day to day operation of the project and is essential viewing. If you are in a N2 work stream or country team, please make your ‘’log in’’ a TAB on your browser and use the site, it is your window on what is going on in the project. The N2 intranet is intended as the primary source of operational information and planning for the project: and its function will expand in the coming months. Monitoring of people logging in’’ suggests people are not visiting frequently enough. Please let Marcel.Lubbers@wur.nl know immediately of any difficulties in accessing the site and we will find solutions for you. If you do not visit the site regularly you will miss vital messages and information.

Marcel Lubbers has designed a number of new features recently in response to user requests. I will be explaining these in a communications bulletin that I will issue shortly and post on the intranet. Please look out for that, it will also contain advice for the June / July project and donor reporting rounds”.