Explore research teams discover ways to strengthen their communication and advocacy strategies

Effective communication is essential to changing policy and practice in forest landscape governance in Southeast Asia.

Communication is fundamental to successful research. But for forest landscape governance, communication is even more important. It can also be more complex. Researchers in this field need to engage diverse stakeholders at every stage from research design, to implementation, to sharing the learning, advocating for improved policies and laws, and ultimately changing practices that affect the health of forests, biodiversity and people. Also, forest landscape research must be inclusive, taking into account gender inequity and marginalization of young, elderly, and disabled people, ethnic groups and other groups excluded from participating in decision-making processes.

That’s why RECOFTC and CIFOR-ICRAF joined forces to train 19 Explore-funded research teams to develop effective communication and advocacy strategies within their research proposals. 

Explore is a research network and community of practice dedicated to expanding and applying knowledge on forest landscape governance in Southeast Asia. Launched in 2020, it takes a transboundary, multi-disciplinary, participatory, inclusive multi-stakeholder approach, emphasizing gender and social inclusion. 

With funding from the Explore Participatory Grant Mechanism, 19 teams involving more than 220 researchers, are developing research proposals. 

To support them, RECOFTC and CIFOR-ICRAF conducted two interactive training workshops in June and July on how to develop effective communication and advocacy strategies for research. In addition, RECOFTC provided one-on-one feedback and coaching for the teams. 

The first workshop featured leading researchers in forest landscape governance and highly experienced forest communicators in interactive sessions. They explored leading-edge ideas for research communication, including communication for participatory action research with communities and marginalized groups. 

“I was thrilled to learn from experienced researchers from around the world in forest landscape governance,” said Ho Thi Phuong from Vinh University, Vietnam, who leads a research team developing a research proposal on gender, climate change, and forest landscape governance. “Their stories inspired me, and I am excited to apply what I am learning.” 

The teams must submit their final research proposals to the Explore Secretariat by 31 July 2022. They will learn whether their proposals are funded by the end of September 2022.

Explore is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida. The network is hosted by RECOFTC, in partnership with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), in collaboration with universities, research institutes, governments, civil society organizations, local communities, and the private sector in Southeast Asia. Explore is also supported by a community of practice hosted by the Global Landscapes Forum. 

To learn more about Explore, including how to become a network member, visit