Knowledge Portal survey: results
The Knowledge Portal of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) started in March 2015 and was evaluated by means of a survey between November – December 2017. This survey revealed that overall, the respondents are positive about the Knowledge Portal in its current format. Clearly, the different backgrounds and interest of the respondents asks for different needs, but the overall consensus is that the Knowledge Portal has added value for professionals working in the field of Food and Nutrition Security.
The number of visits to the Portal has grown significantly since the start in March 2015, as well as the number of organizations that have submitted an item to the Portal. The evaluation survey helped to define the success of the Portal, to redefine its strategy and to carve out a path for the future. The main aim of this survey was: “To evaluate the satisfaction of stakeholders about the content, quality and relevance of the Knowledge Portal”. The small and perhaps biased sample makes it difficult to generalize the results to the visitors of the website and the people on the mailing list and therefore have to be interpreted carefully. The results show that half of the respondents visit the Portal regularly (at least once per month), while six of these respondents were new to the Portal. Africa is the region of interest for most respondents and case studies/best practices are the preferred type of information.
“It really helps me to get updated news on relevant topics, to delve into new research and get inspired for future questions.”
“It is a great platform to increase the visibility of our work”
The respondents of the survey rated Inclusive Business as the most interesting topic, while Urbanization and FNS was rated the least interesting. However, this does not correspond to our monitoring of the website, as the one topic is not visited significantly more than the other. Youth and employment in food value chains was also popular in the survey and this is indeed likewise reflected in the number of visits. In total, 40 respondents indicated that the Portal has definitely added value compared to other sources they use. In addition, 37 respondents rated the added value compared to other sources ‘to some extent’. When asked how likely the respondents would be to recommend this Knowledge Portal to others, over 68% stated that they were likely or very likely to recommend it.
“I find it insightful, as it helps me keep up to date on trends, but also helps me understand what others are doing on the topic.”
Communication of Knowledge Portal items was received as very positive by 72.5% of the respondents, particularly for the newsletter and email alerts. Of the 31 respondents that subscribed to the email alerts, 27 expressed to be satisfied or very satisfied about the communication – as a way of reminder or as a way to tailor for a specific interest. A large part of the respondents indicated that they did not have experience with the Social Media channels where items of the Knowledge Portal are promoted. It was suggested that the benefits of the Portal could be communicated better. About 1/3 of the respondents use the tags and 45% of respondents use the current filter function. The functions are regarded as useful, but many respondents are unaware of them, additionally it is not clear for everyone that the general search engine can be used for the Portal. Also there seems to be some confusion about the difference between the Portal, the working themes and the research projects on the F&BKP website.
“The added value is in the short summaries, that’s really useful, saves me time.”
The critiques on the Knowledge Portal mainly focus on the fact that the Portal is becoming too dense – there are many topics and there is a lot of information on each page – and people tend to get a bit lost. The Portal is appreciated because of its diversity in topics and possibility to stay up-to-date, but some respondents feel that it is not logical to address topics separately given the multi-dimensional character of FNS. Different suggestions were done for the future of the Portal, including improvements to the search function, changes in current topics, integration of more practical knowledge or academic knowledge, more engagement of the audience and promotion of the Portal.
The Knowledge Portal survey revealed that overall, the respondents are positive about the Knowledge Portal in its current format. Clearly, the different backgrounds and interest of the respondents asks for different needs (such as more practical or more academic), though the overall consensus is that the Knowledge Portal has added value for their professional work. These abovementioned results call for a continuation of the Knowledge Portal. However, it also suggests that the Knowledge Portal is still relevant in a different format, for example a “lighter version” or a more focused one. Therefore, several scenarios are currently being developed to anticipate on a next phase for the F&BKP Knowledge Portal. The results of the user evaluation will be used in the development of these scenarios.