Reflecting the ACIAR 10-Year Strategy 2018–2027 and its 6 strategic objectives, the Outreach Program is designed to communicate the work of ACIAR to audiences, both in Australia and overseas.
The objectives of the ACIAR Outreach Program are to:
- communicate the value and impact of our work, and increase our reputation as a trusted and valued partner
- build closer, more effective working relationships with our partners and other stakeholders
- support the communication needs of our Country Offices, with an emphasis on detailing research results and outcomes achieved at a regional and country level.
In 2022–23, comprehensive and coordinated strategies and plans, programs and projects will be developed and/or implemented to achieve these objectives. This work will include:
- managing and implementing an integrated content strategy, including segmenting our messaging to key target audiences
- working with partner and commissioned organisations to collaborate in outreach efforts on projects and programs
- identifying opportunities to further engage with stakeholders, including leveraging the profile and networks of the members of the Commission for International Agricultural Research
- leveraging sponsorship and opportunities through events to create awareness among stakeholders and cultivate relationships with partner and commissioned organisations
- continuing to improve the user experience of our website, including progressing additional developments to make it more dynamic demonstrating the geographic spread of our projects
- working to develop an online catalogue of scientific publications
- supporting and building our In-Country Communication Officer Network to increase our reach and continue to communicate actively and effectively in-country and in our regions.
Work will continue on implementing domestic and international stakeholder engagement strategies to ensure we take a strategic approach to improving awareness and detailed understanding of ACIAR among specific stakeholder groups.
In 2022–23, the stakeholder engagement strategy will:
- increase engagement with Australian stakeholders, including their awareness and understanding of the ACIAR value proposition with information specifically targeted to a domestic audience
- leverage opportunities to demonstrate the impact of ACIAR-funded projects to business and Government leaders
- collaborate with partner and commissioned organisations to ensure combined outreach approach
- strengthen relationships with international stakeholder organisations to establish productive partnerships, collaborations and co-delivered initiatives
- identify opportunities to leverage the profile and networks of members of the Commission for International Agricultural Research to raise awareness of and advocate for ACIAR
- continue to position ACIAR to help deliver on our 10-year strategy.
We will continue to participate in key sector events both in person and online to share the results of our research with a highly targeted audience.
A significant event for ACIAR is hosting the CGIAR System Council meeting in Australia in November 2022 alongside the TropAg conference in Brisbane. The program includes opportunities for international delegates that demonstrate Australian leadership in agricultural innovation.
40 years of ACIAR
During 2022–23 the Outreach Program will continue to leverage our 40-year anniversary to communicate our achievements and impact in a variety of forums. This will include publication of an anniversary book and additional content on the subsite.
A series of stakeholder events, podcasts and a social media campaign, including video and photography, continues to be delivered throughout 2022 under the 40-year anniversary banner. A special edition of Partners magazine was published early in 2022, featuring a range of ACIAR associates, friends and staff sharing their reflections on ACIAR achievements since 1982. A second edition focused on important domestic and international partnerships will be published in late 2022.
The ACIAR website has undergone significant redevelopment in the past 4 years. During 2022–23, there will be further development of the website to increase usability, improve reach to our audiences and ensure access to the right information.
Improvements to the interactive map will be explored further with a focus on a more dynamic approach.
A search engine optimisation audit will be conducted in 2022–23 with strategy development to follow. This approach will ensure the ACIAR website is being accessed and viewed by a more relevant audience.
With an audience of over 85,000 in 2022, the ACIAR social media channels reinforces awareness of the impact of ACIAR-funded research to an engaged and relevant audience.
In 2022–23 the focus of digital content production will be on emphasising short-form video, photography and infographics which work to capture the audience’s attention briefly but with impact.
Publications, including annual corporate reports, are an essential part of our outreach and communication work. Publications contribute to ensuring audiences in Australia and our partner countries can access and use our research findings.
The Scientific Publications Committee continues to ensure the quality and relevance of ACIAR scientific publications, so that our scientific and research partners are better served with improved review processes and more timely production of research publications.
During 2022–23, we will work with the Business Systems Unit to develop an online catalogue of ACIAR scientific publications. We will also continuously improve our publications production and distribution program, strengthening internal production support systems and processes to manage the timely production, distribution and promotion of ACIAR publications.
Corporate publications will be published according to statutory and legislative requirements, and these will be available both online and, in limited numbers, as hard copy. The Annual Operational Plan and the Annual Review are published each year, both as accessible snapshots of our plans and activities.
The production of our flagship publication, the Partners in Research for Development magazine, continues on a quarterly basis, with ongoing review of content, audiences and delivery modes.
In 2022–23 we will continue to build our network of communication professionals in our Country Offices.
Currently, there are communication officers in 6 Country Offices: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, India, the Philippines and Kenya with plans to recruit 2 more officers during 2022–23. Communication and stakeholder engagement plans and activities will continue to be devised and delivered on a country or regional basis to provide ACIAR Country Offices with communication expertise, ensuring more proactive content is being produced and increasing engagement with our partners and stakeholders.
We will continue to partner with media organisations, both domestically and internationally, to raise the profile of the impact of our funded work to a wider audience. In 2022–23, we will engage with journalists who have expressed keen interest in ACIAR-funded projects and their impact to identify opportunities for site visits or local media/journalism training.
We will also work closely with the Crawford Fund to generate positive media coverage, especially in regional and agriculture-based media in Australia.
The Crawford Fund has developed high-school curriculum materials that profile the work of ACIAR and other international agricultural research organisations and highlight a number of key issues, including gender and food loss. These materials are part of the Crawford Fund’s NextGen project, which is targeted at undergraduate and high-school students. NextGen aims to raise awareness about careers in international agricultural research. Forums with teachers designed to increase and enhance the uptake of the curriculum materials will be delivered across Australia.
The Crawford Fund also oversees the administration of Researchers in Agriculture for International Development, whose membership contribute and feature in the NextGen campaign through appearances in video and at events, both in person and online.