Posted 21 September, 2015 by Zara Rahman

Introducing the Compiler – a first attempt at bridging gaps between researchers and practitioners

There’s a lot of research out there on improving the use of technology in advocacy, but much of it goes unused. We want to find new, creative ways of bringing it together and making it more accessible. To kick things off, we’ve started compiling potentially useful research in a blog called, well, The Compiler.


Within the engine room, we often share links to pieces of research we find interesting: so now, we’re turning that process outwards. We use the Compiler to curate research findings that we think could help advocacy organisations make their day-to-day work more effective. Our experience providing direct support to initiatives gives us a fair idea of the kind of questions that get asked, and we’re always interested in hearing about areas we should be covering.

One of our biggest frustrations with a lot of existing research is that it’s not read by the people or communities mentioned because it’s in inaccessible formats: it could be in long PDFs, written in jargon that’s difficult to understand, or just hard to find. Or simply, people might not even be able to get access to it to start with, because it’s behind a paywall.

We’re thinking about creative ways of getting around these problems, and are on the look-out for partners to work with. Get in touch if you have ideas or want to be involved.

Using the Compiler

Each post will focus on the reason that we think the research could change the way you design projects or go about everyday tasks, as well as explaining why we find it interesting. We’ll also include links to more content for the people who want to dig deeper – but, as we’ve discovered, diving into long PDFs often takes a lot more time than civil society practitioners have.

When we come across interesting pieces that are behind paywalls, we’ll be tagging them #closedaccess and making it very apparent that the potentially useful insights it contains are locked away from those it could most help.

If you have submission suggestions, let us know by dropping us an email, or by dropping the link to the piece together with a short summary of what it is in our Submit page. You can also tweet links to us @engnroom.

This post was co-authored by Zara Rahman and Tom Walker.

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