Event: Lessons from a decade’s research on poverty

Feb 2016

 

Lessons from a Decade’s Research on Poverty: Innovation, Engagement and Impact Conference

The last decade of development research and practice has been shaped by global agendas such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and painstaking work to build a consensus around the new SDGs. The ‘Lessons from a Decade’s Research on Poverty: Innovation, Engagement and Impact’ conference took place from 16-18 March in Pretoria, South Africa to highlight the full breadth of research carried out during the lifetime of the Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research. The conference came at a seminal point in time to reflect and identify key learning and knowledge which could help position researchers to more effectively respond to development policy agendas.

Hosted by The Impact Initiative, the event included those researchers who are supported from the Joint Fund’s 139 projects and their partner organisations, donors, policy actors and practitioners. Attendees shared learning, forged new connections and built a shared vision for the future of development-related social science research. The lessons from this event also speak clearly to the wider development community of the importance of underpinning decision making processes with sound and relevant research.

Conference advisory panel

·        Dominic Glover (chair) – Institute of Development Studies, Brighton
Prof. Patricia Justino
– Institute of Development Studies, Brighton
Dr Gerry Bloom – Institute of Development Studies, Brighton
Prof. Ana María Ibáñez – Faculty of Economics, University of the Andes
Dr Andrew Long
– Department for International Development
Dr Nina Marshall Economic and Social Research Council
Prof. Gina Porter – Dept of Anthropology, Durham University
Prof. Pauline Rose
– Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Dr Lauren Winch
– Economic and Social Research Council·  

Plenary speakers

Prof. Ben Cousins (PLAAS, South Africa) about his experience of achieving impacts on policy and practice through his research, with the provisional title ‘“It’s all just politics” – the Role of Research in Development Policy and Practice’

Dr. Rob Hope (Oxford) about ‘Translating research ideas into water security impacts for the poor in rural Kenya’ with a particular emphasis on ‘five years of research innovation’ and ‘reflections from a bumpy journey’.

Prof. Pat Pridmore (UCL Institute of Education) about ‘Increasing municipal governance to tackle the drivers of child malnutrition’ – focusing on engagement with policy and practice.

Key panel discussions framed, challenged and stimulated the dialogue on the lessons from the last decade’s research on poverty. Sessions addressed the co-construction of research with communities; research as political scrutiny and on the informal economy and crisis recovery, and much more. It delved into the challenges and successes of research uptake; exploring the themes of gender, disability, and health and nutrition, and included a session on methods.

Academics and practitioners leading these sessions included Gina Porter (Durham University), Emma Crewe (School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS), Mungai Lenneiye (Zimbisa, Zimbabwe) and Diana Coates (Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa, DRUSSA).

Conference materials

A series of short films of top tips on getting from research to impact.

  • Plan for impact from the start
  • Involve stakeholders in the research process
  • Understand the political landscape you operate in
  • Make your research accessible
  • Be flexible and open to change

A short film Highlights, reflections and learnings from the conference

Presentations can be downloaded via slideshare

Event photographs are available in the Impact Initiative Flickr album

Related blogs

Can research speak to policy?
Andrew Long, Head of Profession for Social Development at DFID

Children and young people hold key to success of Sustainable Development Goals
Hannah Corbett, Communications Manager at the Institute of Development Studies

Cross-sectoral collaboration - are you game?
Professor Dr. Ulrike Andrea Zeshan from the University of Central Lancashire

Gender norms, time use and labour in India and Bangladesh
Professor Wendy Olsen at the University of Manchester, and Professor Dr. Anup Kumar Mishra at DAV College BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Increasing municipal governance to tackle the drivers of child malnutrition
Professor Pat Pridmore at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at University College London

Linking government and business to serve Zimbabwe’s working poor
Rutendo Change, an Associate Consultant at Adam Smith International

The politics of doing research on politics in Africa
Professor Emma Crewe, Professorial Research Associate at SOAS, University of London

The reality of making change happen,
Morten Koch Anderson, a researcher at Dignity, the Danish Institute Against Torture

Turning the scholarly pursuit into a development pursuit
Dr Joanes Atela, Senior Research Fellow at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)

What impact can education research in international development settings achieve?
Pauline Rose, Professor of International Education at Cambridge University and Director of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre

Why we struggle to repeat the trick of turning academic research into action
James Georgalakis, Director of Communications and Impact at the Institute of Development Studies


Contact

For further information on how to engage please contact us via email info @ theimpactinitiative.net


Posted: 17-05-2016
In this short film conference participants share their highlights, reflections and learnings from the three day Impact Initiative conference ‘Lessons from a Decade’s Research on Poverty: Innovations, Engagement and Impact’, held on 16 – 18 March 2016, in Pretoria, South Africa.
Posted: 06-04-2016
Professor Dr. Ulrike Andrea Zeshan from the University of Central Lancashire introduced discussions on ethics, collaboration and institutional culture in cross-sectoral projects to conference attendees in Pretoria through a game. More lessons from a decade’s research on poverty - innovation, engagement and impact.
Posted: 04-04-2016
Lessons from a Decade's Research conference 2016
Morten Koch Anderson, a researcher at Dignity, the Danish Institute Against Torture, follows up his participation at the Impact Initiative Pretoria conference, writing about the capacity for change that may be achieved through research collaboration and exchange of knowledge and training, regardless of national boundaries and attachments.
Posted: 31-03-2016
Dr Joanes Atela, Senior Research Fellow at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) and a researcher in the STEPS Centre Global Consortium, considers how ESRC-DFID research can be best refocused to achieve positive and sustainable impact.
Posted: 18-03-2016
image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/swathi-icrisat-esa/
Rutendo Change, an Associate Consultant at Adam Smith International, writes about fostering policy influence and reforms in Zimbabwe and the changing environment of engagement, as part of the Department for International Development funded three-year programme to improve the quality of public-private dialogue in Zimbabwe.
Posted: 18-03-2016
flickr.com/photos/theworldfishcenter
Professor Wendy Olsen at the University of Manchester, and Professor Dr. Anup Kumar Mishra at DAV College BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India co-author this blog on their work through a multi-disciplinary team in Bangladesh and India.
Posted: 16-03-2016
credit: flickr.com/photos/chrisgold
This blog from Professor Pat Pridmore at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at University College London, summarises key learnings from the study called NICK (Nutritional Improvement for children in urban Chile and Kenya) which focused on the issues of child obesity in Chile and child under nutrition in Kenya. She considers the challenges and opportunities of working in collaborative international teams.
Posted: 16-03-2016
credit: flickr.com/photos/gadaa/
Professor Emma Crewe writes about some of the universal considerations around identity, capacity and ethics in research, with reference to her current work in Ethiopia and Bagladesh. Democracy requires scrutiny to improve government, to keep the powerful honest, and to encourage engagement with the public. Research is a form scrutiny.
Posted: 15-03-2016
Image: Pippa Ranger/Department for International Development
Pauline Rose, Professor of International Education at Cambridge University and Director of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre, reflects on analysis of ‘pathways to impact’, highlights some initial insights on impact in policy and practice, and asks, do we need more capacity building in research uptake?
Posted: 14-03-2016
Picture: Jessica Lea/DFID
Andrew Long considers why the opportunity to come together in Pretoria to reflect on the ESRC/DFID partnership and lessons relating to the relationship between research policy and practice over the last 10 years is hugely exciting.

Pages

The ‘Lessons from a Decade’s Research on Poverty: Innovation, Engagement and Impact’ conference included researchers who are supported from the Joint Fund’s 139 projects and their partners, donors, policy actors and practitioners.

Attendees shared learning, forged new connections and built a shared vision for the future of development related social science research.

The session summaries contain the lessons from the event and speak clearly to the wider development community of the importance of underpinning decision making processes with sound and relevant research.

[Download PDF 1.13Mb]

The Impact Initiative blog posts are either from individual researchers or from major research programmes. Some of the blog posts are original source and are written by researchers and experts connected to the two research programmes jointly funded by ESRC and DFID: the Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research and the Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme. Other blog posts are imported from related websites and programmes. 

The views expressed in these blogs reflect the opinions of each individual and may not represent the Institute of Development Studies, the University of Cambridge, ESRC or DFID.

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