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Integrating Impact Planning into Research Projects: Reflections from the STEPS Centre
20th February 2014 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Adrian Ely, Head of Impact and Engagement, STEPS Centre and
Nathan Oxley, Communications Officer, STEPS Centre
Researchers, along with development programmes, are increasingly called on to demonstrate the ‘impact’ of their research. There are many different ways to frame, define and conceptualise impact, and many possible responses to it. If impact is to be about more than box-ticking, however, this means engaging with questions about how researchers and research programmes interact with society, politics and policy. Innovative methods of planning and discussing the potential impact of research programmes have been developed and are increasingly integrated into the research process.
In this seminar we discuss our experience of adapting and employing a down-scaled version of ‘participatory impact pathways analysis’ (PIPA) and reflect on its utility and potential as a tool for planning relatively small-scale social science/ interdisciplinary research projects conducted with partners in developing countries. In using PIPA, the STEPS Centre has adapted the idea of ‘impact pathways’ in line with its broader ‘pathways approach’, which focusses on complex and dynamic interactions between knowledge, politics and ‘social, technological and environmental pathways to sustainability’. The seminar coincides with the publication of a new Working Paper on the STEPS Centre’s approach to impact by Adrian Ely and Nathan Oxley.