The Impact Initiative

This six year initiative seeks to maximise the impact of research funded by the ESRC DFID Strategic Partnership. The Impact Initiative focuses on providing support to both the ESRC-FCDO (formerly DFID) Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research and the Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research programme.

The Impact Initiative takes 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 also develops programme-level research communication outputs in order to ensure the ESRC-FCDO funded programmes’ research is effectively communicated and shared, and to raise the profile of the programmes themselves. The initiative commissions outputs such as synthesis reports, policy briefs and data visualisations, and disseminates these to targeted audiences of policy actors, practitioners and intermediaries.

Project details

start date
16 March 2015
end date
15 March 2021


In partnership with
University of Cambridge
Supported by


Recent work


In Covid times, what can we learn from the Impact Initiative?

Covid-19 has had a profound impact on low- and middle-income countries, undoing many years of progress for the world’s poor. As they try to reverse these losses, governments, civil society, and international organisations urgently need good research to guide decisions and make the best...

Tim Conway, FCDO & 5 others

25 May 2021


Maximising the Impact of Global Development Research – A New Approach to Knowledge Brokering

This report, by the Impact Initiative for International Development Research, provides an approach for brokering evidence across large research investments. It is based on six years of work undertaken by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the REAL Centre based at the University of...

Pauline Rose

9 March 2021


Research funders urged to take a collective approach to support impact

This week research funders will be urged to take a new approach to engaging evidence with policy that values collaborations and learning. As the world continues to be gripped by a pandemic that has prompted renewed political commitment to “following the science” a report from the Impact...

23 February 2021

Working Paper

Covid-19: Thinking Differently about Education Research Impact

Working Paper: Expert Analysis from the Impact Initiative

This paper draws on lessons from a webinar organised by the Impact Initiative that explored how researchers need to think differently about impact for education policy and practice in the context of Covid-19. It provides insights from education policy actors and researchers on how they are...

Pauline Rose & 2 others

13 January 2021


Celebrating the Raising Learning Outcomes Programme

This booklet profiles a selection of the research and impact funded by the ESRC-FCDO Strategic Partnership through the Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme. This collection of resources highlights the opportunities and collaborations that arise during the course...

13 January 2021