Understanding & Creating Impact

Topics Development studies | Cross-sector partnerships | Ethical research and evaluation | Evidence-based practice | Evidence-based policy | Research and evaluation methods | Research partnerships | Innovation and technology | Case studies | Tools & Guidance

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.

Enhancing Research Impact in International Development: A Practical Guide for Practitioners and Researchers

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

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.

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

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

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Briefing: From Evidence to Impact

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Measuring Social Change: Principles to guide the assessment of human-rights based approaches to development

Measuring Social Change: Principles to guide the assessment of human-rights based approaches to development

This briefing paper unpacks the role of impact evaluation as it applies to the field of human rights, detailing a range of approaches and offering the principles upon which measurement of social change should be based.

The paper provides practitioners with principles to work out how best, in the context of their own organisational objectives and structures, they can develop such models and practices.