Engagement and community building

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One of the objectives of Gender and ICT is to foster effective collaborations for sharing knowledge and inspiring practical interventions on gender and science. GenPORT is an example of engagement and community building project; it is a European wide initiative run between 2013 and 2017, which succeeded in creating an international network of organisations and individuals working across the globe for gender equality and excellence in science, technology and innovation.

GenPORT consists of a community sourced internet portal that offers an open collaborative environment to practitioners, policy-makers and researchers for exchanging resources and knowledge on gender across all sciences (natural and social sciences, and humanities). The available information in GenPORT is constantly updated by its community of users (to date more than 500 are registered). The portal also offers online discussion forums where experts and interested users can come together to discuss emergent topics related to gender and science.

The GenPORT communication strategy started with early user engagement through an interviewing process and user needs assessment, which included specific science and portal advisory groups. The knowledge gained in the process of portal development has been shared through presentations and discussions in several forums such as the 9th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education and Research held in Paris on 12-14 September 2016; the Gender in Physics Day (GiPD) co-organised by CERN, ESO and NordForsk (Geneva, 27 January 2017), and the Opening Science to Society event organized by SIS.net, the international network of National Contact Points (NCPs) for Science with and for Society in Horizon 2020 (Brussels, 15 November 2016). Currently, GenPORT contains more than 1.000 resources, policy information and briefs, as well as practical materials, and facilitates public access to scientific outcomes that would otherwise be dispersed. It is a world-wide reference point for gender and science resources.

Besides GenPORT, Gender and ICT has promoted or is currently participating in other European projects aimed at enhancing gender equality in research and innovation, such as GEDII (Gender Diversity Impact) and EFFORTI (Evaluation Framework for Promoting Gender Equality in R&I). From May 2018 until 2021, GENTIC will coordinate the European project ACT (Communities of Practice for Accelerating Gender Equality and Institutional Change in Research and Innovation across Europe). ACT is a SWAFS (Science With and For Society) initiative that will set up an international network of Communities of Practice (CoP) to increase gender expertise and improve the implementation of gender equality plans within research performing organizations and research funding organizations in Europe.

Other current projects that engage diverse social actors at regional and national levels in the research process in order to analyze their experiences and define best practices are “Polyhedral Views on Gender Violence“, ESTEREO and GESTEMI.

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