Questions / Using Research

How can partners design research that is more likely to be used?

To conduct useful research, it is a good idea to repeatedly engage partners. Begin by identifying the individuals, committees, work groups, learning groups, or training cohorts who are invested in the research and may want to take up the findings. Consider what problems of policy or practice the research will inform—be it policy implementation, resource allocation, staff training, public awareness campaigns, or management practices. Jointly envision how the research might be used, and plan accordingly to make it happen.

Where possible, tie research efforts to existing system incentives so that the research can be connected to an already moving train of action. For example, if an organization is interested in identifying or implementing research-based programs or tools, a research synthesis on relevant programs or tools may be appropriate. Alternatively, systems implementing a new program may be interested in learning about how well it works or how to improve it, and evaluation designs that address these questions can aid the use of research evidence.

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Using Research