By bridging the divide between evidence production and use, the Network aims to maximise the outcomes and impact of research and evaluation in real-world development policy and practice. Yet, there is no set of universally accepted definitions, outcomes or activities for how research is communicated, engaged with, used, and applied.
This collection of guides, projects and ‘snapshots’ provides a glimpse into contribution that development research makes to the sector beyond academia. This includes how to improve the influence of development research on policy and programming.
Improving Research Use in International Development: An RDI Network Action Research Project
In 2020, the RDI Network brought together policymakers, practitioners and researchers to better understand the individual and organisational drivers, incentives and ways of working that contribute to, or inhibit research use, and to help shift them.
Over a 10-month period, small teams of research advocates from 12 different organisations – including government and intergovernmental organisations,
managing contractors, non-government organisations (NGOs) and universities – undertook action
research projects designed to trial different strategies for improving research use within their
This report synthesises the findings that emerged from the project
Enhancing Research Impact in International Development: A Practical Guide for Practitioners and Researchers
The aim of this guide is to enhance ‘research impact’ in International Development. It will assist Australian-based practitioners and researchers operating in sector to maximise the research impact of a project.
It outlines tools and strategies to promote a research project’s outputs and outcomes, and to encourage research uptake and research use. The guide was developed by the Humanitarian and Development Research Initiative (HADRI) at Western Sydney University, in conjunction with a Steering Committee from the Research for Development Impact Network (RDI Network).
Research Communication and Uptake: A Snapshot of Practice
The Research Communication and Uptake Snapshot looks at the factors that influence research communication and uptake (use in policy and practice), and offers key recommendations for organisations that deliver aid, fund aid, and those that produce and communicate research.
The ‘snapshot’ provides a point-in-time understanding of how research findings are communicated and taken up in policy and practice, within the Australian-based development sector.
The RDI Network and Coffey International Development produced the Snapshot with input from a steering group, DFAT, and over 200 individuals who participated in interviews, focus group discussions and surveys.
From evidence to impact: Development contributions of Australian aid funded research
Investigating the development outcomes and impact of research undertaken under the Australian Development Research Awards Scheme (ADRAS). The ADRAS was a significant Australian Government investment into development research between 2007-2016.
The purpose of this study was to uncover the pathways to impact used by the ADRAS projects and to document real world changes in policy and practice. By understanding these key facilitators of influence, researchers and research funders can more strategically plan their pathway to impact.
The report provides a breadth of different ways in which ADRAS-funded research led to development outcomes across health, gender, disability, water and sanitation, education and other sectors and in multiple countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and others.
Executive summary: From Evidence to Impact
Download the executive summary
Briefing: From Evidence to Impact
Download the briefing paper