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Happy New Year!

There is a space at the beginning of January that seems to hover outside time. The past year is still fresh in our minds and the coming year has not yet become real. So what better time to stop and consider what and where 2014 has brought us?

Here at CommsConsult we have a lot to look back on. 2014 was a year of growth in many ways. With three (yes THREE!) new babies from the team, new staff members and workshops and conferences across the world- we have been pretty busy.

2014 saw the team in Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, Wales, the Netherlands and Qatar as well as scrambling over St Michael's Mount in Cornwall! It was a year for consolidating and developing current projects, finalising others and forging new and exciting partnerships for the future. We have been bright and busy all through 2014 and what a year it has been!

But, more excitingly, what a year is yet to come! Working on new projects and hunting out new talent, 2015 is set to be a big one for CommsConsult.

So, as we sit in the half-light of January and get used to the new year, we wish you every success and hope that you will join us in what promises to be a spectacular 2015!

The CommsConsult Team

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What have we been doing?


ILO Symposium

In March we were invited by The International Labour Organisation (ILO) to facilitate its 3-day Symposium, ‘Increasing Youth Productivity in the Middle East and North Africa’, at Georgetown University in Doha, Qatar.


A toolkit on Policy Engagement and Communication

Working with Results for Development, we co-developed this toolkit as part of the Think Tank Initiative's PEC programme.


A Year in Pictures

A map of our adventures

What have we been saying?


What is driving the recent social media training buzz in Zimbabwe?

Nyasha Vuta looks at the craze sweeping Zimbabwe.


Post-it notes & wooden blocks: Stakeholder relationships & Net-mapping

Nyasha Musandu describes her experience of the first ever net-map training held in Africa


Whose Knowledge Counts?

Jo Reid, ponders the old question and considers the types of knowledge surrounding policy development.


Q&A: Spotlight on the Zeipnet

Nyasha Musandu discusses the Zimbabwe Evidence-Informed Policy Network (ZeipNet) with director Ronald Munatsi.


Making a statement

CommsConsult writer, Laurie Huggett, muses on aid from Norway, illegal logging and what being a vegetarian says to the rest of the world.


A cup of tea with... Andrew Clappison

In the first of our 'cup of tea' profiles, we catch up with our M&E specialist and Research to Action pioneer.


Andrew's words


Why [just maybe] we need to stop talking about climate change


Open space: the law of two feet


Are we losing sight of the true value of research ‘impact’?



If you could be a colour what would it be?

Green - for me it symbolizes the mystery of the sea.

What 3 words best describe your work?

Jack of all trades (not quite three words sorry!)

Why International Development?

My research background was in governance and how different personal and organisational connections shape governance systems. I saw a strong link with communications and knowledge sharing, which I thought  I could build on and make a difference.

What scares you about your work?

Power play and prejudice - sadly it exists even in international development.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever discovered?

My partner, Sarah.

What piece of research do you think changed lives?

I’m not sure one piece of research can on its own - but I’m a big fan of philosophers like Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Felix Guattari and Bruno Latour. The first of these has played a massive role in the world we live in  (both positive and negative). Felix Guattari’s Three Ecologies provides some powerful thinking on ‘sustainable development’ that does not seem to have found resonance with mass society - sadly.

What new skill would you like to learn?

I have been carving lots of spoons recently, but I keep cutting my hand so I think there is still some learning to do!

What would you like the people reading this interview to remember about you?

Not sure I care. People come to things with their own ideas and attitudes - What they remember, or more importantly interpret, will be shaped by these and out of my control.

What would your best holiday be?

Playing in the woods, swimming in the river, drinking red wine by the fire.