Promoting IRD’s activities and values


“ To highlight its unique model and its leadership, IRD’s action has to be made clearer and its attractiveness boosted. There is also a need to promote its knowledge and know-how and to federate and equip its staff. Going beyond the wording of the statutory tasks, we need to do more to promote the fundamentals, values and commitments of IRD. We need to define new guidelines for communicating on and sharing information, by overhauling institutional communication to position it within a clear strategy for content and exchange, rolled out to the wider IRD community. ” Extract from the IRD's Strategic Direction Plan 2016-2030.

Key figures

The orientations set out in the Strategic Direction Plan urge us to question the Institute’s communication guidelines, to overhaul institutional communication to position it within a new strategy for content and interaction, rolled out to the wider IRD ‘Planet’, a community with a rich and unique set of ideas and practices.

The Communication and Information Sharing department’s job thus comprises three main challenges: making the IRD’s activity clearer and accessible, facilitating information sharing and the building of internal and external communities, and boosting the recognition and reputation of IRD.

Raising the profile of IRD’s activities

The Institute’s scientific editorial strategy draws on the extraordinarily rich array of subjects, angles and results from its researchers’ work to position itself as a benchmark in the world of science devoted to development.

Reporting on research results

The Sciences au Sud periodical reports on the outcome of research and its consequences on a social, economic and human level; 75,000 copies are circulated in more than 100 countries. Scientific news sheets present the most recent IRD research results. To date, 500 news sheets have been published. Intended for French and foreign media, the governing ministries, IRD partners, decision-makers and the public, they provide an up-to-date summary of current research information. Ten new summary sheets were produced in 2016.

To coincide with the Habitat III conference, IRD published ‘Towards the city of the future – Building an urban model from the perspective of realities on the ground’, a brochure setting out the major challenges faced by cities in countries of the South – growing inequalities, environmental and health risks, the impact of climate change – and the expert input from IRD researchers and their partners. IRD and Ecuadorian review Ñan, jointly published a special edition entitled ‘Ecuador, a laboratory for the world.

Positioning IRD as a key point of contact for the major development issues

More than 60 press releases and press kits were issued in 2016, promoting the results of IRD research in the fields of emerging infectious diseases (Ebola, Zika, etc.) and water resources (Ice Memory expedition).

Press actions also featured the Institute’s mobilisation to tackle the impacts of climate change (COP22), and to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG summer school) and universal health coverage (publication of a special edition of Lancet).

They led to almost 2,660 press mentions, including 23 articles in Le Monde, 22 in Le Figaro, 33 AFP reports, 30 interviews or programmes on France Inter radio and 55 on RFI.

Fostering dialogue with the entire ‘Planet IRD’

To forge links around its research work, its training provision in the South and innovation, as well as the major projects concerning the Institute’s governance and day-to-day life, IRD engages in more informal communication on social media while helping to federate and coordinate the various communities that make up ‘Planet IRD’ using digital media, collaborative tools and opportunities for interaction.

In 2016, the Institute sought to promote this process of dialogue within its own community to strengthen the establishment’s identity, advance shared objectives and foster a sense of community

It is also important that IRD establishes a dialogue with all its scientific and institutional partners, which will help us forge a reputation as an indisputable part of our country's development aid and research policy.

IRD has a wide audience on the web and social media. In 2016, the received over a million visits. Half of all visitors live in France and more than 10% on the African continent. The others are located in North and Central America, and elsewhere in Europe.

There was high growth in the number of followers on social media in 2016. The number of Twitter followers increased by over 60% to reach 7,500 by the end of the year. IRD’s Facebook page saw a 30% rise in its audience, to reach a total of 11,100.

Building IRD’s image

To reflect the specific characteristics and strengths identified in the 2016-2030 Strategic Direction Plan, IRD needs to forge a clear and meaningful image that can be identified nationally and internationally to affirm its influence and legitimacy.

A new visual identity

IRD’s visual identity was hence given an overhaul in 2016. The Institute’s new style guide reflects its new momentum and strategic priorities. It has taken on-board the discussion on the translation of the organisation’s name, tying it to France’s international influence. New communication materials have been designed to comply with the new identity.

Presence at institutional events consistent with the Strategic Direction Plan

IRD was keen to attend several events in 20016, pursuing two lines of thought:

Sustainable Development Goals summer school

The International Campus for Cooperation and Development, founded in 2016 by Aix-Marseille University (AMU), IRD, AFD and their partners, has introduced a new summer school programme that questions the role of scientists and the contribution science can make to reaching the SDGs. The first SDG summer school ran in Marseille from 8-13 July 2016.

And in the future ?

We will continue to redesign our communication materials this year, consistent with IRD’s strategic directions, most notably with the set-up of a science news blog and a new institutional website. This work will go hand-in-hand with greater social media presence and a series of initiatives involving the various communities that make up Planet IRD.