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Research In Brief #12 - Research Impact of Continued Importance in 2018


The demand to demonstrate research impact beyond standard academic citations is continuing in 2018. First, this necessitates designing and implementing research projects that align with the practical needs of the users (whether they be from applied research organisations, government or the NGO sector). Second, it requires having fit-for-purpose assessment frameworks to show achievements of particular research activities in the short term and to demonstrate their impacts over the long term (including impacts related to policy uptake and industry application).

While this demand is common across many sectors, the Research for Development Impact Network is working to extend the understanding of research communications and uptake in the international development sector. Through data collected from research producers, users and knowledge brokers, ACFID and partners will deliver a snapshot of research communications and uptake.

Due to conclude in July this year, I am keenly awaiting the findings of this project as the issues covered dovetail with Sustineo’s growing portfolio of work in 2018. This includes the design and implementation of practically oriented research for clients (and working towards journal publication, where there is scope) and developing opportunities to co-design impact frameworks with partners in both international and domestic contexts.

Sustineo’s approach to research impact assessment goes beyond the simple quantification of primary knowledge products, to measuring downstream impact on industry, sectoral change and economic outcomes. This builds on our work in the past few years with ACIAR (see our Knowledge-Systems-RAPID impact assessment framework here and the application to a multi-country case study here).

In the remainder of 2018 we are looking forward to further refining and improving our innovative mixed method approach to the design, conduct and assessment of research impact.

For those interested in this scope of work, contact me by email: Research impact is an area of growing interest, opportunity and importance for the year ahead.

A similar article was first posted to Linkedin on 24 January 2018.

Illustration by Lorenzo Petrantoni; Accessed from Nature