Pressure to demonstrate concrete impacts on public policy is encouraging researchers to make grand claims about what we/they are likely to achieve.
Researchers must provide clear policy messages, carefully define the relevance of their research, be realistic about what can be achieved, and be clear about whether they’re practising research communication or advocacy.
There are four issues:
1. Clear research evidence doesn’t necessarily lead to clear policy messages.
2. Be careful how you define ‘policy relevance’
3. Be realistic about what can be achieved – think breadth of impact rather than depth
4. Be clear whether you’re practicing research communication or advocacy.
LSE impact blog
Louise Shaxson is a Research Fellow in the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme at ODI.