INCLUDE Platform

Workshop on ‘Refining impact pathways of research projects’, 16 October, Leiden, the Netherlands

By: Karin Nijenhuis | 23-11-2015 | News

During the working conference ‘What works to promote employment prospects for women and youth: policy-knowledge interactions for inclusive development in Africa’, held from 15–16 October, NWO-WOTRO and INCLUDE jointly organized a workshop for all INCLUDE research groups on refining the impact pathways of research projects.

The workshop aimed to support the Social Protection research groups (which are at the start of their research trajectory) and Strategic Actors and Productive Employment research groups (which are half-way through their research) in refining their initial impact pathways. An impact pathway specifies how research activities can result in outputs and contribute to outcomes and impact. They use verifiable indicators to measure output and income levels. The workshop is expected to help the research groups to prepare for their mid-term and final reviews, in which they will need to reflect on their impact pathways. It will also help them to make use of impact pathways in practice; for example, in their interactions with policy-makers. In total, 12 of the 17 research groups were represented at the workshop.

The workshop was opened by Maria Verschoor (NWO-WOTRO), who welcomed the participants, followed by a brief recap by Karin Nijenhuis (INCLUDE) of Minister Ploumen’s recent policy letter to the Dutch parliament on inclusiveness. Han van Dijk (NWO-WOTRO) explained the use of development concepts like  ‘theory of change’ and ‘impact pathways’ in the NWO-WOTRO research programmes being carried out under INCLUDE. The research groups then worked in pairs to reformulate and refine specific outcomes and indicators related to influencing policy processes and to make them ‘SMART’ (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound). Lastly, before the lunch break, Maria Verschoor explained the WOTRO mid-term procedure.

Based on the experiences in the morning session, researchers then ‘speed dated’ with platform members in the afternoon to make use of their personal skills and country-specific expertise and policy networks in order to realize the intended research outcome(s) in relation to policy development. This interactive session, organized around 5 tables and in two rounds, was facilitated by Karin Nijenhuis.

Please find the full report of INCLUDEs working conference of 15 October, as well as the speakers’ presentations in this dossier.


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