Evidence and Policy Directorate Announced

27 March 2015

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the University of Cambridge’s Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre are joining forces to run a major new four year initiative that will seek to maximise the impact of research funded by the ESRC DFID Strategic Partnership.

Maasai women from Kenya following a course on solar energy at the Barefoot College

What is the Evidence and Policy Directorate?

The Evidence and Policy Directorate (EPD) will focus on providing support to both the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research and the Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research programme. The EPD will take full advantage of the extensive research and policy networks that IDS and Cambridge are connected into throughout the world to support the coordination of targeted engagement initiatives, such as policy roundtables and practitioner workshops in low-income countries, and the facilitation of global networking and knowledge sharing events. It will also develop programme-level research communication outputs in order to ensure the ESRC-DFID funded programmes’ research is effectively communicated and shared, and to raise the profile of the programmes themselves. The EPD team will commission outputs such as synthesis reports, policy briefs and data visualisations, and disseminate these to targeted audiences of policy actors, practitioners and intermediaries.

Working in partnership

IDS and Cambridge will draw upon their wide range of established policy and practice-orientated communications channels and networks including Eldis, BRIDGE, social media and media partnerships to achieve this. For ESRC-DFID grants that have already ended, the EPD will place the greatest emphasis on migrating their research and data onto knowledge hubs using open knowledge approaches.

James Georgalakis, IDS’ Director of Communications and Impact and EPD Director said:

“It is a privilege to be leading this valuable initiative to maximise the impact of some of the world’s leading social science research. As traditional flows of development knowledge change to a more complex pattern and the groups of relevant knowledge intermediaries and policy actors widen, the Evidence and Policy Directorate will seek to leverage awareness of these ESRC-DFID funded programmes and in partnership with their researchers exploit key policy and practitioner engagement opportunities.”

Pauline Rose, Professor of International Education and Director of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre at Cambridge added:

“We are excited to collaborate with the Institute of Development Studies to identify innovative ways for ensuring the high quality research produced through these ESRC-DFID funded programmes, including those specifically aimed at raising learning outcomes, have real impact.”

The EPD is supported by a team of highly respected thematic academic leads from both IDS and Cambridge and a technical pool of communications and knowledge specialists, expert in developing and delivering a range of tailored knowledge products and services for specific audiences. Towards the end of the year the EPD will commence the coordination of knowledge exchange and policy engagement activities and the provision of capacity building support to individual ESRC-DFID grantees.

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