Civios — Your Source for Public Affairs Research

Category: Interactive

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Target Audience:
General public (changes depending on the subject), lawmakers, policymakers, and practitioners

Date(s) Published:
Launched April 2017

Civios aims to make the policy research conducted by faculty at the Humphrey School and the U of M more accessible. There are significant policy challenges in our society that need to be informed by evidence-based research. While public affairs research provides important insights into critical domestic issues—from urban planning and design to environmental policy—such research is frequently published in journals inaccessible to those outside of academia. Via podcasts, videos, and digital mixed media, Civios translates faculty research, enabling faculty to provide real-world context and explore potential policy implications and questions. The materials also include links to related research for those who want to learn more. Civios meets a critical need for evidence-based public policy and innovative solutions to public problems. Equally important in the current era, Civios seeks to counteract public skepticism and distrust of public institutions by bridging the divide from academia to the world of practice.

Since launching, twenty-five podcasts, videos, and digital mixed media products have been created for Civios. This number represents a wide range of policy issues and twenty-three different faculty members from the Humphrey School and the U of M. Through our various social and email communications we’ve been able to organically develop a Twitter following and email list for our quarterly newsletter. For each new material we also work with faculty send a targeted email to a unique list of relevant stakeholders that they identify. This has helped to directly promote the content to the most relevant audiences (media, policy makers, funders, advocacy groups, etc). Through collaborations with the University libraries we’ve been able to leverage existing platforms—the University Digital Conservancy and Experts@Minnesota—to help house related research and promote the podcasts and videos as faculty research outputs. The research housed in the UDC has been downloaded over 1400 times.

The budget for Civios is limited. The project was built off of a small seed fund to support development of the website, but our daily operations and production relies on in-kind services (IT support, videography, etc) as we work to integrate this new initiative in the Humphrey School. There are two staff members who support Civios on a part-time basis. They are responsible for all aspects of the project from development (conducting podcast interviews, video editing, creation of mixed media products) to dissemination and communication.


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