Monitoring and measuring
We have been pioneering how to monitor and measure evidence uptake and use for more than five years. We know what improves the chances evidence will be relevant and likely to be used. Through consultation with our researchers and learning together, we understand what is most appropriate to expect researchers to do in terms of promoting evidence use. Importantly, we have learned a lot about what a funder can and cannot effectively do to promote evidence use in studies that we fund.
Using our specialised approach to monitoring of engagement and uptake, we have now documented more than 170 instances of how evidence from over 100 3ie-supported studies has been used. Our monitoring shows seven ways in which research findings can have an impact. We list them here alphabetically since we do not value one type over another: (1) Change policies or programmes, (2) Close a programme, (3) Improve the culture of evidence use, (4) Inform discussions of policies and programmes, (5) Inform global guidelines and policy discussions, (6) Inform the design of other programmes, and (7) Scale up a programme.
We have focused our innovation and learning on how to improve evidence use measurement. We have tried a number of different approaches to monitoring, validating and coming up with cost-effective and timely methods that works for our needs. In 2018, we adopted contribution tracing for testing and improving our evidence use claims. This method has helped strengthen our monitoring, as well as our confidence in what we are measuring and reporting.