CASCADIS – the CASCADE Information System will be the project’s major dissemination product. In contrast to the CASCADE project website (which will be used for internal organisation and management of the project), CASCADIS will present the key project messages, using various methods outlined above, to make them available and accessible to all the target audiences. The main language will be English, but as many sections as possible will be translated into the languages of the CASCADE study sites. The CASCADIS will be built in Joomla! an open source content management with very powerful functionality and its specifications are likely to include the following.

  • A “Quick start guide” incorporating video clips to enable the user to familiarise him/herself with the basic layout of the system.
  • A menu structure that reflects CASCADE’s organisational structure with sections for each WP and study site.
  • The content organised hierarchically, with the degree complexity of information increasing with each level. All complete deliverables will be available for downloading and many will be reformatted for on-line reading. However the user may choose to read only the summary/poster introductions.
  • Interactive tools will be used to simplify the presentation of complex information, as will PowerPoint slideshows or short video clips.
  • Basic website functionality will be extended to include: a document management component which provides an interface for downloading all documents; a photo gallery with titles and captions for every image; a fully-integrated glossary; interactive Google maps; a facility for translating and reading as much content as desired in the study site local languages.

Visual impact is often the most successful medium for conveying information and television remains the main source of scientific information for the general public. Video or film products will be developed that explain the scientific issues underlying shifts in dryland ecosystems and the management of land degradation. The films will be made available on YouTube and Vimeo, accessed through CASCADIS or possibly broadcast in collaboration with a European television organisation.

Developing technology is making it increasingly easy to connect to a wide range of end users using a wide variety of media. In CASCADE, end users will include 7 broad groups:

  1. International bodies such as the UNCBD, UNFCCC, UNCCD, will be contacted from the beginning of the project and invited to engage in dialogue
  2. European Commission (EC) level, (DG-Environment, DG-Agriculture, and DG-Research) will be kept informed and invited to take part in selected meetings or workshops
  3. End users at regional and national administration level will be identified by study site partners who have long associations with their regions. Their needs for information required in order to make decisions will be used to focus best practice recommendations coming out of the project
  4. Local land users and other local stakeholders will be identified or chosen by study site partners in order to provide a broad context and overview of issues in each study site 
  5. Various disciplines of the scientific community will be kept informed of developments in CASCADE through conferences and other meetings, papers submitted to scientific journals, and a dedicated section of CASCADIS. CASCADIS will provide a repository for peer-reviewed journal articles, catalogued according to discipline or interest. These lists will also be made available to other external catalogues, including EU initiatives such as the FP7 online repository, but complying with intellectual property constraints
  6. The media will actively receive regular news and press releases. In addition to other conventional and electronic media, full use will be made of CORDIS, the EU portal for 'Community Research and Development Information Service'.
  7. General public, including students and schoolchildren will be contacted through e.g. “Science in Schools”, encouraged to participate in using CASCADIS.