Designing and implementing research

The ESPA Knowledge Strategy describes the programme's research goals and outlines the knowledge gaps that must be addressed to meet them. The document was created in collaboration with ESPA researchers and is a very useful tool for prospective grant applicants.

The ESPA Directorate sees people as part of ecosystems and considers sustainable poverty alleviation as a key goal of ecosystem management. The programme's research framework highlights the links between ecosystem services — such as timber production or freshwater supplies — and the well-being of the poor, and describes how these sit within wider social, political and environmental settings (see Figure 1 below).

ESPA researchers work across different temporal and spatial scales. Local impacts on ecosystems can have different effects on a wider scale, areas where ecosystems cross political and legal boundaries must also be considered. Temporally, short-term gains may have long-term costs, and we encourage our researchers to think on generational time scales as a minimum. The ESPA Knowledge Strategy contains further details and examples.



Figure 1: The ESPA Research Framework shows interactions between human well-being (blue); ecosystem services (green); and social, economic and political enablers of change (yellow).


Please visit the ESPA Impact Stories page to see some examples of the development impact resulting from ESPA-funded research.