Engagement can seem challenging for those in the platform space if there is no platform built. However, it does not require a fully functioning and beta-tested platform to commence engagement activities. In 2022 alone, more than a dozen conference presentations have been delivered by several CADRE partners (most by Project Lead, Dr Steven McEachern). You can view some of the previous presentations on our website.
There are several strategic reasons why engagement should commence early, even before the platform is built:
- Socialising of the framework
CADRE’S conceptual framework (Five Safes) is known within some higher education and government areas, but engagement exercises allow us to reach new audiences. The framework can demonstrate what the Five Safes is and how audiences themselves can inform the development of the CADRE platform. Given the Content Working Group also identified two additional Safes (organisation and groups). We have also provided the reasoning behind the inclusion of these two additional Safes in presentations and meetings.
- Gap analysis
Conducting engagement activities has initiated conversations with interested parties external to the project group. This, along with feedback from presentations or training activities, has provided additional insights into possible gaps such as specific needs of multidiscipline researchers.
Conferences, workshops and meetings have allowed us to engage with those working on similar projects and those in research support roles. It has provided opportunities to discuss areas that CADRE has not fully developed yet including technical discussions and training. Learning from others who have invested time into solving these issues has saved the project time and opened doors for other opportunities in relation to other ANU managed projects such as IRISS and ANZLead.
Early engagement must have a strategy in place but also needs to be flexible. As the project progresses you can assess which engagement activities are more beneficial than others but also where your future opportunities lay.