Impact Practitioners

Putting research users into the centre of uptake strategy: lessons from the EEG programme

By 02/02/2023

This 23-page report produced by the Applied Research Programme on Energy and Economic Growth (EEG) presents the EEG’s research uptake strategy. 

To inform its strategies and maximise the impact of the programme, EEG developed a Policy Research into Action Cycle (PRActiCle). It keeps the end users of the research – in EEG’s case those making decisions on energy policy – the focal point throughout the programme. As a result, research will be co-designed and co-implemented by researchers, practitioners and policy makers. Activities around policy engagement, capacity development and communications are essential for this circular approach, which aims to deliver research that is:
a) relevant (responds to user demand),

  1. b) accessible (can be easily engaged with) and 
  2. c) actionable (provides practical insights for stakeholders).

EEG identifies four pathways through which they can assess the effectiveness of the PRActiCle approach and measure the user-centred research projects. The transformation pathways to research uptake and policy engagement are:

1) supporting the development of better energy policy

2) mobilising and scaling investment in energy systems

3) creating the context for change, and 

4) building capacity

You can find more details about these pathways in the second chapter of the report, alongside information on how EEG plans to underpin the pathways with research and how it might be evidenced for monitoring and evaluation.

The third chapter of the report looks at the application of PRActiCle to EEG activities. For every activity, the authors consider key approaches, how they can be tailored to the EEG programme, and what they should and should not do. The report looks at political economy analysis, capacity development, project design and delivery, communications and influencing, and monitoring, evaluation and learning. 

The impact of the research will be captured along the four key pathways, with evidence gathered at three stages: 1) robustness of design, 2) effectiveness of implementation and, 3) likelihood of influence. You can find the EEG’s scoring matrix in the report. 

The final two chapters focus on explaining the differences in approach between EEG’s core and country projects and how they will share and divide roles and responsibilities. 

Overall, the report is an accessible resource that might inform your research uptake approaches and strategy. It highlights the importance of a flexible two-way relationship between researchers and users and the need for a collaborative approach when it comes to design, delivery and learning from a research project. 

This article is part of our initiative, R2A Impact Practitioners. To find out more, please click here.

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