Engaging research for practice: a civil society perspective

This study (led by Jude Fransman from the Open University and funded  by an Early Career Fellowship award from the Leverhulme Trust) examined how international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) in the UK’s international development sector ‘engage’ with research. Research engagement was defined to include any of the following activities: contributing to research agenda-setting and governance; commissioning, informing or collaborating with research led by other organisations; producing and communicating research in-house; and/or accessing/adapting/using pre-existing research).

The study had five main components:

1. Desk-based systematic review (conceptual metasynthesis) of ‘research engagement’ in 5 different UK-based sectors of policy and practice

2. 3. Key informant interviews on the changing nature of research within the UK’s international development sector

3. Institutional case studies of INGOs to explore their policies, processes, practices and systems around research engagement

4. Participatory multimodal journaling with INGO-researchers over a 6-12 month period to explore the research identities and identify researcher development needs

5. Resource-development to build research capacity in INGOs (in collaboration with INTRAC and BOND)