The ‘Power of Partnership: Research to Alleviate Poverty’ conference, held in New Delhi in December 2018, focused on the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research. It brought together over 100 researchers - funded through the Joint Fund - along with policy actors and practitioners, to look at how the evidence coheres around key policy issues and the role of partnerships in achieving impact.
During the conference, key staff from development and donor agencies including DFID, ESRC, IDRC and UNECA were interviewed to discuss the value of social science research evidence to influence policy and bring about change. They reflected on several key questions, including:
- How can research evidence influence change?
- What do you see as some of the big opportunities for research to be influencing development policy?
Articulating the messages research evidence sends to policy makers
Thokozile Ruzvidzo considers some of the key challenges that she faces in trying to promote evidence use to UNECA partners, and discusses what needs to be considered in relation to evidence that might be perceived as generated somewhere else, versus data that countries feel they have ownership of.
The importance of research evidence to inform decision making at the highest levels
Pamela Mason reflects on the key learnings from the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund and considers why social science is so important for enhancing development and UK Aid Investment.
The role of research in informing the general public
Arjan De Haan discusses some of the intermediaries or channels that help connect research with more academic audiences, and reflects on the key challenges that he faces in trying to promote evidence use to IDRC partners.
Why evidence is key for effective programming
Diana Dalton considers the inclusion of processes that are effective in helping get research into action when designing a research call, the key challenges that DFID itself faces in promoting evidence use within UK government around development, how the DFID approach to commissioning and the use of research might develop in the future, and how the case can be made for social science, which can be a harder sell than applied science.
Thanks to all those who participated.