Policy and Practice Impact

Topics Evidence-based practice | Evidence-based policy | Research and evaluation methods

By bridging the divide between evidence production and use, the RDI Network aims to maximise the outcomes and impact of research and evaluation in real world development policy and practice.

Below you will find the products of two significant projects which the RDI Network has been a part of:

  • From evidence to impact – a review of pathways to impact under the ADRAS
  • Demonstrating impcat across scales – a strategic approach to M&E
From Evidence to Impact

From Evidence to Impact

The RDI Network commissioned a study to investigate the development outcomes and impacts of research undertaken under the Australian Development Research Awards Scheme (ADRAS), a significant Australian Government investment in development research from 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 in the mid-long term.

The resulting report, From evidence to impact: Development contributions of Australian aid funded research [PDF], identifies five key facilitators of research influence including:

  • prior familiarity with research context/users
  • planning for impact
  • proactive engagement with end users
  • fit-for-purpose outputs
  • lasting engagement

By understanding these key facilitators of research 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.

The report offers a series of actionable recommendations targeted at different groups involved in the research process. These recommendations cover the means of strengthening research practice and outcomes towards impact; covering funding, advocacy, communications and engagement activities.

Researchers, research funders and research networks are invited to use the findings of this report to maximise development outcomes of future research.

You can download the full report, executive summary or brief of this study below.

From evidence to impact: Development contributions of Australian aid funded research

From evidence to impact: Executive summary

Demonstrating Outcomes and Impact across Scales

Demonstrating Outcomes and Impact across Scales

This research uncovers the potential of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practice to address some of the key shifts and challenges facing current development practice, and in doing so, to advance the case for applying M&E processes to capture, integrate and report outcomes and impact at different scales.

ACFID and the RDI Network jointly commissioned the research and provided guidance through a steering group (which included members of the ACFID Development Practice Committee, the RDI Network, ACFID and DFAT). This foundational piece is designed to advance a sector-wide dialogue on the strategic use of monitoring, evaluation, learning and reporting systems. A national workshop was held to discuss the findings and a broader set of strategic M&E questions in August 2018.

You can download the full research repory, an executive summary and the national workshop report from this page. These include recommendations for how this research might influence the thinking of NGOs, academics, donors and others in their approach to the design and implementation of M&E activities.

Demonstrating outcomes and impact across scales: Executive summary

Demonstrating outcomes and impact across scales: Research report

Demonstrating outcomes and impact across scales: A national workshop