Introduction and Background
Science Africa (SA) is a publishing, communications, advocacy, research and mentorship thinktank and consultancy organization that is keen on popularization of various aspects of STI as the driving force for sustainable socio-economic development in Africa. Since 1994, SA has been proving specialized strategic communications, research, capacity building, media and editorial advisory and hands-on support to various partner organizations in both private and public sectors at national, regional and international levels. SA has a wide network of highly skilled partners spread all over sub-Saharan Africa that are capable of meeting the needs of the most demanding and networked organization. Over the years, Science Africa has fostered appropriate partnerships with different national, regional and international organisations to advance various aspects of science to promote the much-needed sustainable development. Some of these are development partners, UN agencies, research institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations, Universities and private and public institutions. One of our flagship products, is the popular quarterly Science Africa. Magazine. This is a journal of review and analysis of effective utilization of the various aspects of science, technology and innovations for rapid development of sub-Sharan Africa. At Science Africa, we believe that no society or country can develop without mainstreaming STIs into its core development agenda. We have therefore designed the following menu of products and services to provide support our partners and clients realize their strategic goals and objectives in the most sustainable way. They include:
- Publishing and Editorial Services (PES)
Whether it is book, booklet, report, annual report, newsletter, journal or magazine, among others, Science Africa has a team of expert writers and editors for all your editorial and publishing needs. We offer integrated editorial and publishing services that includes books, reports, policy briefs, newsletters, annual reports and impact stories. Our writers, editors and creative designers will work with you to your most demanding expectations. For instance, Science Africa publishes a premier science, technology and innovation magazine called ScienceAfrica quarterly. The magazine carries in-depth articles on all aspects of STI and development. We work with our partners to write, edit and publish their impact stories and research findings. The magazine also focuses on policy analysis with a view to highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. We also publish an online weekly newsletter focusing on current STI issues. Science Africa edited and designed Kenya’s Malaria Eradication Strategy 2009-2018 for UN World Health Organization (WHO).
- Strategic and Corporate Communications (SCC)
In the age of information super highway that facilitates swift global communications, the world has suddenly become a small global village where it’s extremely difficult to contain information flow. Everyone with a smart phone is a media house unto him/herself. Thus, control and management of both corporate and individual reputations, that is, what people say or think about you, has become quite challenging. At Science Africa, we understand these challenges and that is why our approach to corporate communications are strategic, pre-emptive and scientifically planned. We take into account all your key stakeholders at internal (board members, investors, management and other staff members) and external (policy makers, development partners, donors, investors, regulators, researchers, consumers, media and industry) levels. We back up our approach with concrete data generated through scientific research. The data used to design and implement result-oriented communication interventions that addresses stakeholder concerns, employee concerns, crises communication, community relations and Corporate social responsibility. We will work with you to develop an effective strategic communication strategy that addresses all these areas, including your needs a contributor to communities social good that is necessary for positive reputation and collaboration. We then hold your hands in implementing the strategy in a manner that would yield your public perceptions desires by connecting your insight with the overall strategy and integrating communication as a key driver of your products and services. Finally, we leverage both social and mass media as partners to publicize your priorities. We are adept at designing and implementing grassroots communications and public awareness campaigns that champions meaningful conversations with stakeholders rather than talking at them. Leveraging key influencers for word of mouth advantage is one of our key strategies that allows our clients to benefit from time-test influencer marketing.
- Media Relations and News Service (MRNs):
We have a network of well trained and experienced journalists across Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone Africa that support our clients’ national campaign to launch a new product or service, raise public awareness on a social issue and support conferences. Besides the external journalists working with mainstream media in Africa and globally, Science Africa have in-house team of reporters, science writers and media planners ready to plan and execute your media relation needs that deliver results. Our team of experienced journalists and public relations experts work to ensure to find the news in the client’s story skillfully pitch to appropriate media a compelling angle it that would resonate with your audience’s needs. Science Africa is at an advantage of ensuring quality and consistent media coverage to our partners because of our on-going partnership with leading media houses to build capacity of their journalists on effective science reporting. Besides, we use apply media leveraging techniques using the most current thinking and techniques in this area, including sight visits, direct contact, well-researched background articles, news conferences, tip sheets and editorial briefings, among others. We are particularly skilled in providing the creative insight needed to implement media relations programs sensitive to the intricacies governing the communication of STIs and other technical areas. Most senior editors in major media houses are our peers that we enjoy excellent rapport with.
- Public Engagement and Participation (PEP)
The need to involve the public in decision making on any project plan, design, implementation needs no emphasis. Public knowledge and acceptance of any development initiative are the keys to a project’s success and sustainability. Science Africa has designed arrange of effective Public Engagement strategies and tools to help our partners meet their needs. There are lots of different ways you can do public engagement. Different forms of engagement achieve different things, and will be appropriate for different audiences. We break down the purposes of public engagements into four main categories: These include informing, inspiring, consulting and collaborating. Public Consultation for example includes instances where local officials ask for the individual views or recommendations of residents about public actions and decisions, and where there is generally little or no discussion to add additional knowledge and insight and promote an exchange of viewpoints.
- Capacity Building and Mentorship (CBM)
Science Africa runs perhaps the most effective communication and media training and mentorship program in Africa. We have developed unique capacity building and mentorship curriculums to suit the needs of various professionals and organizations. We are the pioneer solution journalism trainers in Africa. We have partnered with governments, county governments, international organizations, UN agencies, regional bodies and companies to train and mentor journalist, scientists and communication specialists on effective communication. For more than a decade, we have offered hands-on training and internship program to upcoming journalists needed in effective reporting mostly on science, technology and related innovations for Africa’s socio-economic development. Science Africa has also served as a virtual science newsroom for mentoring journalists in Anglophone Africa, besides offering a mentorship platform for science graduates from almost all Kenyan universities and colleges. In addition, we have been the leading outlet in Kenya offering trainings on effective communications for the scientists and the journalists locally and regionally. Some of the outstanding trainings planned and executed by Science Africa include UNDP’s funded training on effective communication of climate change issues for science journalists in Kenya; Solutions Journalism training for East Africa’s science ‘journalists, among others. Trained 47 County Directors of Meteorological Services (CDMS) on “Effective communication” of weather and seasonal forecasts. Conducted training for journalists drawn from East, Central, West and Southern Africa in collaboration with Drugs Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) on how to effectively report on drugs for neglected diseases. We conducted a pioneering media training on Effective Reporting of Climate Change Adaptation in collaboration with UNDP, JICA and the Kenya Government. Science Africa offers intensive hands-on internship on science journalism and science communication. It has had over 100 interns who are journalism, international relations and science graduates from major public and private universities and colleges. Science Africa has served as the first Virtual Science Newsroom for Anglophone Africa under the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) Project, which also included continuous mentoring and training of journalists in various countries, including South Africa, Cameroun, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia and others. Conducted a training on Solutions Journalism in partnership with the US-based Solutions Journalism Network, which included journalists from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria. We have also partnered Continue training of Nation Media Group’s health desk to improve the quality and quantity of reporting on health issues in Kenya.
- Research, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (RMEL)
Research is the basis of good project design and implementation as produces necessary data needed as inputs. Science Africa undertakes audience research, opinion surveys, content analysis, among others. Good planning, monitoring and evaluation enhance learning and the contribution of the project or organization by establishing clear links between past, present and future initiatives and development results. Effective research, monitoring and evaluation can help an organization extract relevant information from past and ongoing activities that can be used as the basis for programmatic fine-tuning, reorientation and future planning. Without effective planning, research, monitoring and evaluation, it would be impossible to judge if work, campaign, etc., is going in the right direction, whether progress and success can be claimed, and how future efforts might be improved. Our team of experts will work with you cover you wholistic research needs.
- Policy and Regulatory Support (PRS)
It takes experience, expertise, in-depth knowledge to navigate the regulatory minefield of the science, technology and innovation. Science Africa team have accumulated years of helping organization to open up policy and regulatory environments through well-though out policy advocacy in very tricky areas like agriculture, biotechnology and health. We provide support leading to adoption or review or implementation of better policies by leveraging our good standing with high-level policy makers and science, technology and innovation councils in Africa. We have experience running policy advocacy and communications campaign programs on behalf of our partners including international organizations, donor agencies, grassroots community groups and professional associations to help raise awareness and improve policy environment. Our high-level and community dynamic approach is backed up with solid research to inform the process.