Expanding your skill and confidence: Capacity building in SUMERNET 4 All

Being part of the Sustainable Mekong Network (SUMERNET) has great benefits – access to grants, insights on critical Mekong issues and networking with colleagues. In the ongoing 4th phase "SUMERNET 4 ALL", we are now providing a range of capacity building tools, skills and resources for our network of researchers, policy makers and others.

Leonie Pearson By Leonie Pearson - Mar 12, 2020

What is capacity building?

Capacity building is the “process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that are needed to survive, adapt, and thrive in a fast-changing world.” For SUMERNET, capacity building is focused on delivering increased quality and quantity of research for policy and practice. Specifically, we want to focus on increasing SUMERNET members’ skills and confidence to deliver timely and high quality research for policy and practice that will enable you all to address the critical issues in the Mekong Region.

Capacity building for S4A has two elements (i) working directly with the grant funded projects in intensive training sessions and events, and (ii) to share insights across the whole Network that will enable SUMERNET members to build their personal or teams skills, abilities to address critical issues for a sustainable Mekong.

This blog starts the process of sharing resources to SUMERNET that everyone can use free of charge and at their own pace to develop and strengthen capacity across the Mekong. For now, let’s start with something all researchers need to do – write journal papers.

Let’s start with writing journal papers

They are hard! Not many people find writing journal papers easy, and with increasing pressure for academics to produce more and better journal papers – most people are looking at tools, tips and tricks on how to do it better, quicker and with less stress. If you are one of those people then fear not, we have some resources to help.

International publishers have resources to help you get started in your journal paper preparation. These resources are available to all and are a good overview of the whole research paper process from data organisation to ethics, structuring, writing, editing, proofing and submitting. For Elsevier, the ‘Researcher Academy’ provides free access to countless e-learning resources designed to support researchers on every step of their research journey. Browse their interactive modules and earn certificates and rewards as you progress. While Taylor and Francis have a more blog focused approach called ‘author services’ that targets specific writing issues generally, these resources are focused on publishing reductionist or hard scientific methods and publication options.

Are you a social scientist, that needs some guidance? A time limited offer (enrol by April 6) is available through insap and shared through AuthorAID. This looks like a great free resource to improve your knowledge and skills in research writing (capacity building skills) with input from excerpts and colleagues around the world. The course is called ‘Research Writing in the Social Sciences’ and can be found here.

What’s next

On the SUMERNET.org website, keep an eye out for the new capacity development resources coming soon. These will cover topics of ethics, gender and policy impact in developing and implementing research for policy and practice projects. There will also be a range of ways to engage using webinars, videos, podcasts, blogs etc.

By providing a variety of ways to engage we hope to stimulate cross-network exchange of ideas and learnings – ensuring we are all building our capacity to deliver higher quality and quantity of research for policy and practice in the Mekong.

If you would like to see a specific topic or cover a specific skill or share a great learning experience – let us know. Send us an email info@sumernet.org, drop us a post in our Facebook page or tweet us @sumernet_sec.

SUMERNET belongs to you all, our network partners. So if you have a topic, issue or skill you want further developed, we in the SUMERNET secretariat are happy to respond.

Sustainable Mekong Research Network

Building research for policy towards sustainable development in the Mekong Region

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