Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Dissemination and Implementation

Dissemination and Implementation

Once policies have been forged it is essential to ensure these are disseminated and implemented. Many academic research projects often risk compromising their efficacy because of fundamental flaws in their dissemination and implementation. Once a project has been underwritten a diagram for its sequential implementation ought to be mapped out in the original proposal.

Dissemination and implementation are not two distinct features. A policy paper may be disseminated but not implemented only if implementation is resisted or dissemination is not efficiently delivered. Dissemination is simply availing useful information about the proposed project to identified parties through reliable ‘communication conveyors’ and should ideally make implementation a natural corollary if these conditions are satisfactorily met.

A ‘targeted approach’ is essential to any successful dissemination policy. It is crucial to base dissemination and implementation on ‘research intelligence’ that identifies specific ‘deliverables’ and relevant ‘user communities’. These can be broached through selective mediums and targeted marketing. This information should be collated in the original proposal and should include a business plan for its perusal.

Implementation ought to be based when possible on ‘consensus-building’ that creates a demand for the implementation based on relevance. ‘User communities’ can be ascertained from ‘data based driven information’, like ‘metadata registries’ or ‘web-based’ demand assessments or any other empirical raw material warehouse that be mined. These are the essential features of any successful proposal and subsequent dissemination or implementation policy.

All projects should incorporate a clearly defined ‘protocol’ that ensures dissemination and implementation can be technically measured. Such a protocol could be facilitated by ensuring the features related to dissemination and implementation marketing are coherently defined in the original project’s feasibility proposal. ‘End-user relevancy’ of any project determines demand measurements facilitating a ‘targeted approach’.

In any knowledge-based research milieu it is crucial to ‘harmonize’ research protocols. These should be designed to ensure dissemination and implementation can be assured prior to project approval. One important feature of any project ought to be specifically designed ‘tracking-templates’ already defined in the original project design that can progressively track dissemination and implementation.

These tracking-templates ought to be aligned to project finance whereby funding could be availed incrementally in relation to dissemination and implementation tracking projections criteria being met. Project management of concrete implementation could be tracked in relation to previously determined ‘user-relevance’ and ‘end-user feedback’.

This can be achieved by conjoining ‘foresight’ and ‘hind casting’ measurements within the ‘tracking-template’ funding matrix. Finance would be exchanged in trounces against piecemeal delivery of tangible implementation indicators, adhering to specific time-frames.

Should a project anticipate stakeholder ‘resistance’ to implementation of the policy being delivered, these tracking-templates could where possible incorporate an end-user ‘compliance requisite’ that could be determined through foresight. Compliance could be assured through ‘incentive-induced’ implementation ‘responsibility sharing’ whereby previously identified end-users would be burdened with compliance through compliance mechanisms specifically designed to be in-built in the implementation policy that exclude or neutralize resistance. These implementation procedures would use foresight to determine anticipatory and sentient feedback resistance.

Compliance could be achieved by making implementation a necessary condition for contingent or collateral benefits or even service-provisions the end-user may demand from ancillary fonts the policy-maker may control as a jurisdiction regulator. These measurements could be identified and gauged in the original project research intelligence submissions and thus incorporated in the tracking-template design. (e.g. VAT collection.)

Such a scenario of resistance would be envisaged when policy implementation is resisted because of burdens that seemingly outweigh benefits to the end-user or a lack of utility value in the deliverable. Policy dissemination in the case of resistance would basically see a shift from disseminating and later implementing the policy, to merely first disseminating the compliance requisites against communicating sanctions and benefits that ensure implementation in the immediate future.

Where the policy promoter can only champion policy against resistance without recourse to incentives or sanctions, implementation and dissemination require further elaboration and an inversion of resource deployment. Here the project requires consistent prior dissemination based on knowledge gleaned from stockholders that includes content-calibration targeting the utilitarian values of the proposed deliverables, professional status of users and their facilitators, technical apparatus potential, production environment, competitive skills, market requisites, memory institutions, and the cultural configuration of the end users simultaneously, while promoting the long-term benefits of the proposed policy implementation. Here the targeted dissemination approach could rely on inter-comparative assessments and gradual marketing to encapsulate resistance and recruit consent. Such a strategy would have to be included in the original research proposal.

Should such a policy proposal predict stake-holder resistance to the extent of making the prospects of immediate implementation appear futile, the only justification of pursuing the project would be assumed to be the benefits of protracted ‘dissemination’ towards some deferred implementation based on the necessity or benefits of the project gradually becoming apparent. In such a scenario one would not expect the funding to be determined by implementation measurements, rather, the focus ought to be directed at accentuating the policy relevancy through systematic marketing and long-term dissemination, postponing implementation to a more expedient future.

This resonates the need to have project designs scientifically rationalized and harmonized to ensure feasibility is predicated against realistic appraisals of implementation forecasts as an axiomatic underpinning of all policy design. Foresight tracking of dissemination and implementation is an essential premise of any project feasibility calculus.                    

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