The Impact Initiative has closed. This website has now been archived and will no longer be updated.
The Impact Initiative has closed. This website has now been archived and will no longer be updated.

Edited collection chapter

Evidencing Impact Across a Diverse Portfolio of Research

© Jorge Martin 2021

This section sets out the approach undertaken by the Impact Initiative to capture and communicate the impact of research projects as part of its knowledge-brokering role for the Economic and Social Research Council-Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (ESRC-FCDO) Strategic Partnership. It describes how diverse dimensions of impact were recognised and articulated and the value of micro-impacts. In contrast to other approaches, including the UK’s Research Excellence Framework and its Impact Case Studies, the Impact Initiative worked collaboratively with researchers at all stages of their projects’ life cycles, identifying and evidencing changes that research processes have contributed to. The benefit of a narrative-based approach that structured impact stories around a challenge or problem, a research process, and subsequent changes was further enhanced by a very concise, accessible format. For knowledge brokers and donors the key lesson is around the value of a collective, programme-level approach to developing impact stories. The Impact Initiative’s collection of these is impressively broad and combines rigour with accessibility. As a body of work it provides a unique insight into how impact is understood and achieved in development studies, and the process of building this collection has created a rich learning environment.