New report reveals impact of Australian aid funded research

Topics DFAT/policy engagement | Research and evaluation methods

ADRAS report thumbnailA new report based on a study commissioned by the RDI Network uncovers previously undocumented outcomes and impact from a range of research projects funded by the Australian Development Research Awards Scheme (ADRAS). The report reveals the significant impact which Australian aid funded research has had on policy and practice in a range of sectors across Asia and the Pacific.

The study also provides insight into the facilitators of research impact, helping to uncover the prerequisites, connections and activities which support research and evidence-gathering activities to influence real world change. The report offers new frameworks for understanding the types of impact which development research can have, as well as the means by which these are achieved.

The ADRAS was the Australian Government’s flagship development research grant scheme from 2007 to 2016. Through detailed case studies, a range of pathways to impact carried through the ADRAS projects are documented in the report.

Ranging from influencing a gender-responsive budget to support domestic violence law in Timor-Leste, to improving access to health-related evidence by decision-makers in Fiji, the impacts which the ADRAS projects have had in our region are both numerous and significant.

Not intending to be a comprehensive evaluation of the ADRAS program, the study instead captures diverse mid-long term impacts which were out-of-scope of the Government’s formal monitoring and evaluation processes.

We hope this report will prompt researchers, research funders and research users to reconsider their assumptions about impact, and will encourage research producers to design impact facilitators into the duration of the research process.
Philippa Smales, RDI Network

The report presents a series of actionable recommendations and offers a way forward to strengthen research policy advocacy, funding provisions, research communications practice and engagement activities.

You can access the executive summary of the report from this page, or download the full report via the RDI Network Learning Hub.

The RDI Network will take forward the recommendations of this report through an ongoing area of work in research communications and uptake.