Making science work for development

Evaluating the impact of research programmes

1 August 2013

In October 2012 UKCDS, DFID and IDRC convened a workshop to help themselves and other funders explore and better understand the options for and challenges of evaluating the impact of their research programmes. Having the evidence to know what works effectively and what doesn’t is crucial to ensure future funding is invested well, represents value for money and maximises international development outcomes.

The workshop brought together experts with practical experience of designing, testing or using tools and methodologies specifically for research impact evaluation. Experts were asked to profile different methods and identify where they work well and what are their limitations. We aimed to map the principle options for research impact evaluation while noting gaps where more, or different, techniques may be required.

The Resource

After the workshop, the UKCDS Secretariat worked with DFID to provide an accessible, structured synthesis of the workshop content, supplemented by additional material and links assembled by the convening organisations. It is not designed as a comprehensive account of the available tools and approaches for evaluating research impact; methods are not reviewed or commended. The resource below focuses on the issues, tools and challenges particularly associated with evaluating research impact, as opposed to more generic issues relevant to evaluating other interventions in development. The emphasis is on evaluation at the programme level, rather that of individual research projects.

  • Impact
  • Making science work for development
  • Research uptake and impact

Contributing organisations