Research into Use
Research into Use (RiU) is focused on promoting the uptake of research among key stakeholders, particularly practitioners, policymakers, and vulnerable communities, to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable populations in the region. Whether the research will be used by the stakeholders depends on three overlapping factors: political/policy contexts; strength of evidence; and quality of relationships between policymakers, practitioners, and research communities.
RiU consists of a three-pronged approach:
- Communication strategy – to tailor and share co-created knowledge products for uptake by target audiences;
- Strategy for influencing policy – to guide consortium members to better understand the political context in which policy makers operate; help members determine relevant stakeholders as well as the timing and pitch for their science messages; and promote the uptake of HI-AWARE research outcomes into policy/decision-making; and
- Strategy for influencing practice – to better understand practitioners and their current livelihood systems; to develop evidence and convincing cases for uptake of research outcomes and pilot-tested adaptation measures and approaches; and encourage networking between practitioners and researchers.
Monitoring and evaluation of the used strategies is a continuous process, which should be documented every step of the way, for learning. Mapping and monitoring key indicators corresponding to RiU activities, for example, is only one of many ways of measuring its relative success.
Documentation of RiU will be done at four levels:
- Level 1 – Research dissemination (e.g. number of downloads, number of publications shared, extent of media coverage);
- Level 2 – Research communication or evidence that research studies are being used to catalyse discussions (e.g. citation indices, people reporting that they have been influenced by the study, discussions on social media or newspapers);
- Level 3 – Research uptake or evidence of practical use (e.g. new legislation passed, changes in practice on the ground, etc); and
- Level 4 – Impact (e.g. enhanced adaptive capacities, climate resilience, or improved livelihoods). This will be difficult to track and measure in the lifetime of the HI-AWARE initiative.