How to monitor and evaluate the uptake of research?

Resources to monitor and evaluate research uptake - Research To Action

Organization: Research To Action

Year: ongoing


  • Aims to offer key resources and insights to help support better monitoring and evaluation of research uptake activities.


  • Latest news on the topics (conferences, papers, reports etc)
  • Outcome Mapping Guide


“It’s not easy to measure the impact of development research in bringing about positive change. It’s even harder to show how communications efforts and expenditure, helps to achieve both research objectives, and development outcomes.”

Theory of Change for Research Projects


A Theory of Change is a specific and measurable description of a social change initiative that forms the basis for strategic planning, on-going decision-making, and evaluation (see tool plus links to other resources below)


RAPID Outcome Mapping Approach (ROMA)

Organization: ODI

Year: latest publication on ROMA from 2013


  • method to help organizations and practitioners to create strategies for evidence-informed policy influencing
  • help organizations to plan and make better strategic decisions for policy influence, monitor changing political landscapes and learn throughout the process


  • six-step approach incorporates RAPID’s research and lessons on knowledge and policy processes into traditional Outcome Mapping

Definitions, Evidence and Structures to Capture Research Impact and Benefits - The DESCRIBE Project

Organization: University of Exeter

Year: 2012/2013

Purpose: To answer questions around impact and recommend consistent approaches to evaluating impact across different research disciplines.



Evaluation of Research Impact: Options and Challenges Workshop

Organisations: workshop convened by UKCDS, DFID and IDRC

Year: 18 October 2012

Conclusion of the workshop: “there is not yet a strong sense of the strengths, weaknesses and applicability of the different evaluation methods – the field is simply too young”

Possible tools: Theory of Change (see tool listed before); Pay back method 

Tools to monitor the research impact

Organization: ODI / RAPID 

Year: 2004


  • Introduction of two tools that investigate the influence of research on policy with examples


  • Episode / Tracer Studies (page 12/13): includes different steps:
    a) identify a policy change;
    b) indentify the key research questions related to the issues;
    c) construct an historical narrative leading up to the observed policy change (timeline of key policy decisions and practices, identifying key actors);
    d) explore how and why those policy decisions and practices took place; e) assess the relative role of research.                             Data collection tools used:  literature review, interview with key actors, capturing the author’s own experience, discussions at workshop                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  • Focus Group Discussion (page 14/15): general introduction to FGD