News and Views

Posted: 24th February
This week research funders will be urged to take a new approach to engaging evidence with policy that values collaborations and learning. As the world continues to be gripped by a pandemic that has prompted renewed political commitment to “following the science” a report from the Impact Initiative finds that it often takes multiple research studies spanning geographies and disciplines to shift understanding and decision making.
Posted: 10th February
Supported by the Impact Initiative, the webinar, ‘Reconceptualising Teacher Professional Development in Honduras’ took place on 1 February 2021. Six panellists presented a new model which combined the research of two ESRC-FCDO RLO research projects which provides an innovative, effective, and relevant intervention that help teachers improve their teaching practices.
Posted: 23rd November
Pathway to the Sea
Reported outcomes ‘harvested’ from across the Raising Learning Outcomes Programme to build a picture of the diverse processes and pathways to impact across the portfolio have been presented at an Impact Initiative hosted webinar on ‘Celebrating the Successes and lessons of the Raising Learning Outcomes Programme.’
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.