NCCR North-South Dialogue No. 48

by Claudia Michel, Eva Maria Heim, Anne B. Zimmermann, Karl Herweg, Thomas Breu
Bern, NCCR North-South 2013

Interest is growing in the impact that science can have on reducing poverty in the global South. If we understand impact as the “demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy”, the concept encompasses a variety of contributions of research-related knowledge and skills that benefit people and the environment. One reason for the growing interest in impact in this context is research councils’ increasing focus on documenting the social and environmental benefits of science, as indicated by the above quotation from the British research councils. Another reason is that research funding agencies from the private and public sectors are now more interested in social innovations for solving problems on the ground.

Research can indeed influence policymakers’ views, policy development, funding patterns, and implementation or practice. This is promising for those who would like to improve – and prove – the influence research can have on policy and practice. It is also of importance for better understanding the intended and unintended effects of research. This report presents the NCCR North-South approach to increasing the impact of development-oriented research. It explains how we can maximise our impact and how we can assess whether our efforts have worked, based on six case studies from around the world. The report is of interest to all researchers who wish to respond to policy and practice from their point of view and who are keen on publicising their evidence. It is also relevant to those who teach how to maximise research impact.

Michel C, Heim EM, Zimmermann AB, Herweg K, Breu T, editors. 2013. Maximising the Impact of Research: The NCCR North-South Approach. Fourth NCCR North-South Report on Effectiveness. NCCR North-South Dialogue No 48. Bern, Switzerland: NCCR North-South.


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