Unearthing research uptake: A survey for research users

Topics Evidence-based practice | Evidence-based policy

Research Communications and Uptake:
An open survey of research use in the international development sector

As part of a long-term project to better understand pathways to impact for development research, the RDI Network is conducting a survey to better understand how people working in international development currently use research findings in their work.


The survey seeks to explore questions including:

  • What forms of research do practitioners and policy-makers use in their work, and why?
  • What are the barriers and enablers to research uptake and use?
  • What are the opportunities to improve practice and alter incentives towards greater research impact?

This survey is targeted specifically at research users in the Australian-based development sector, and should be completed by those who have a role (or part thereof) in accessing, interpreting and/or applying research findings in policy and programs. It complements a survey of research producers and knowledge brokers, conducted by the Network earlier this year.

The survey is being conducted by Coffey International Development, alongside other research activities (including interviews and focus group discussions), and will contribute to a ‘snapshot’ of research communication and uptake within the international development sector. The overall goal of the snapshot is to provide insights to the international development community on how research is transmitted from those who produce research, to those who use it.

The survey is expected to take 25-30 minutes and results will be anonymized – reporting will not identify particular individuals or organisations.

The RDI Network appreciates your contribution in helping us develop a robust picture of current practice in the sector, with the intention to support future capacity building work.

The survey will remain open until 17 August. Please share it with your colleagues who match the target participant description described above. A list of Frequently Asked Questions provides further information below.

Complete the survey by clicking here, or copy the URL below into your internet browser:


If you have any further questions about the survey, or the broader project, please do not hesitate to be in touch.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who should participate?

The RDI Network recognises that international development research is used within many different types of organisation, including (but not limited to) academic institutions, NGOs, private sector companies and government. Individuals and teams from all of these identified entities are invited to complete the survey.

The survey is targeted at research users in the Australian-based development sector, and should be completed by those who play a role in accessing, interpreting and/or applying research findings in policy and programs.

Can multiple staff from one institution or organisation complete the survey?

Yes! We seek to establish a broad understanding of the sector in terms of practice and capacity, and aim to attract input from a high volume of individuals. Please share this survey with your colleagues and networks who fit the descriptor target participant outlined above. The survey does give you the option to identify your organisation, but this will not be used in an identifiable form in the results.

How long does the survey take?

As a guide, we suggest the survey will take 25-30 minutes to complete. We value your time invested in helping us gather this important sector data!

How will the data be used?

Survey responses will be used to form an overall ‘snapshot in time’ of current practice and capacity within the international development sector. This snapshot will be shared with the Network upon completion.

The snapshot will capture and report the survey results in de-identified format, unless express permission is sought otherwise.

The raw survey data will be collected by Coffey International Development, and a copy will be provided to the RDI Network for records.

When will the survey close?

The survey will be open until 17 August, 2018.