This report, by the Impact Initiative for International Development Research, provides an approach for brokering evidence across large research investments. It is based on six years of work undertaken by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the REAL Centre based at the University of Cambridge, engaging with over 200 research projects funded by the ESRC-FCDO Strategic Partnership. It provides lessons and recommended practices for all those funding and designing social science research for development and seeking to maximise its impact beyond academia.
The case for maximising research impact at a time of brutal cuts
Now is the time to make a case for a collectivised, programme level approach to knowledge brokering and impact. The increasing calls for policy to “follow the science”, pressures created by ODA cuts and the urgent requirement to demonstrate the value of research, make for the perfect opportunity to secure approaches to connecting research with policy that value wider bodies of knowledge and broader definitions of impact.
Knowledge brokering must accompany research from the start
Impact support services that try to build the capacity of researchers and broker knowledge between academia, policy and practice need to be built into programmes from the start. This is one of the key messages coming out of a new review commissioned by the UKRI. With the launch of the new Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), capturing learning from the ESRC-DFID Partnership could not come at a better time.