Joint UK Collaborative on Development Sciences-ESPA (UKCDS-ESPA) Impact Event

24 Jan 2012
Date/Time: 24 January, 2012
Venue: Wellcome Trust, London

Assessing the impact of research relevant to international development: sharing lessons and improving coherence

This event aimed to enable the Department for International Development (DFID), the Research Councils and other funders and stakeholders to further consider how research impact can be recognised and assessed when it comes to international development. It brought together people who have been considering some of the issues around research impact, but who have not had the opportunity to meet before.

Please see the workshop report here.

Please see a list of key resources which were highlighted at the workshop which might be of use.

Key conclusions and next steps

Engaging the research community

• Training for researchers on communication and engagement is required, but dedicated staff to assist with these activities are also needed – we can’t expect researchers to do everything
• A workshop should be held to explore lessons learnt in the context of impact, rather than only hearing about success stories; a ‘failure’ conference

Conceptualising impact

• Identify how to ensure that impacts are real and not constructed (verification is key – particularly where beneficiaries are in the South)

Capturing impact

• Systems for capturing impact must be simplified and cover a full range of outputs/activities: research outcomes, relationships/partnerships, capacity building.
• There must be demonstrable benefits of capturing outputs to both funders and researchers, e.g. through links to the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Assessing impact

• A one day session solely looking at impact assessment, bringing in more practitioners including southern partners, think tanks, academics, stakeholders
the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences and ESPA will work with participants to bring together the relevant people to make progress in aligning approaches to impact amongst funders.


The Research Excellence Framework: assessing the impact of research - Kim Hackett, Research Excellence Framework team

Research Councils UK approaches to impact assessment - Mari Williams, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
DFID’s approach to research impact - Andrew Shaw, Department for Interational Development
Illustrating ESPA’s approach to impact - Paul van Gardingen, ESPA
Impact stories
Recognising impact: some personal reflections - Thomas Sikor, University of East Anglia, ESPA Project
Monitoring and intervention strategies for bluetongue virus epidemics in rural India - Simon Carpenter, Institute of Animal Health,  the Combating Infectious Diseases in Livestock (CIDLID) project
Enhancing impacts under ESRC/ DFID research project - Fulong Wu, University College London, Economic and Social Research Council-Department for International Development (ESRC-DFID) Project