News and Views

Posted: 2nd September
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.
Posted: 9th July
For 15 years, the Joint Fund has commissioned high-quality research on poverty alleviation, across a broad range of topics and methodologies. With the Joint Fund now coming to an end, DFID and ESRC have commissioned an evaluation with a strong learning dimension, to identify key lessons to be passed on to current and future funds of similar scope, in particular the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).
Posted: 16th June
The evidence community is finally taking the relational and societal aspects of getting evidence into use seriously. James Georgalakis asks if donors, researchers, elected officials and policy professionals are ready to create research-policy partnerships that can deal with these social realities. Relationships should be built on trust, an understanding of our differences and where the sweet spot for collaboration exists.
Posted: 16th June
In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are faced with the challenge of adapting their plans for achieving changes in policy and practice through new evidence. A webinar hosted by the Impact Initiative set out to explore how researchers may need to think differently about impact for education policy and practice, and what kind of support they might need from funders and policy actors.
Posted: 21st May
Delhi SCAFFOLD event
From May to October 2020, the Impact Initiative convened monthly discussions online to draw on some stand-out examples of particular impact pathways and strategies that have emerged over the course of the Impact Initiative programme. The process was designed to produce reflections on opportunities and challenges of working on a portfolio of research in different ways to maximise impact.
Posted: 2nd April
The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed debates about the politics of science into the mainstream. A new report suggests there are some key qualities that may go towards determining the success of research-policy partnerships and those seeking to influence them. The ability of diverse communities of researchers and policy actors to find common ground, sustain their interactivity and adapt to change, will have real consequences.
Posted: 16th March
High School in South Africa
Focus groups with academics and practitioners in the KwaZulu Natal province examined how the context in which national policy is implemented and monitored differs for poorer schools versus schools in urban, advantaged areas. Data generated by an ESRC-DFID funded project indicates that the national curriculum alone cannot improve learning outcomes in a highly heterogeneous, unequal system.
Posted: 25th February

The Celebrating Impact Prize is the UK's Economic and Social Research Council's annual opportunity to recognise and reward ESRC-funded researchers who’ve created, or enabled, outstanding impact from social science research.

Posted: 6th February
Women working in paddy fields near the Bangladesh border of West Bengal
At a time when policymakers in different parts of the world have become increasingly interested in promoting women’s engagement with the labour market, persisting barriers remain a challenge. A workshop with scholars explored research evidence and policy engagement in South Asia and in the Middle East and North Africa.
Posted: 3rd February
Pathway to the Sea
The surprise announcement by UKRI that they will be removing the Pathways to Impact from their grant applications has sent the UK research community into a spin. Very few academics are going to miss writing impact pathways statements. They were seen by many as a tick box exercise and the opportunity to promote a deeper reflection on how to engage with non-academic partners and users was all too often squandered.