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·
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).
- 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
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
For further information on how to engage please contact us via email info @ theimpactinitiative.net
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.
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 FCDO: 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 FCDO.
The Impact Initiative welcomes comments. To enable a healthy environment for discussion we reserve the rights to remove comments if they are considered abusive or disruptive. All comments are reactively moderated. This means that comments are usually only checked if a complaint is made about them.