Our ten most popular resources from 2012


2012 was a great year for research to action, we hope that you have enjoyed all the tools and resources we have shared. Here is a selection on the ones that you seemed to enjoy the most. Thank you to all our friends and partners that have contributed and allowed us to share these resources. If you have something you would like to share please get in touch

1. Theory of change An expanding resources list 

 We have developed the following list of resources for those researchers and organisations looking to develop a ‘theory of change’ for their work. As we recently announced on R2A all new DFID-funded Research Programme Consortia are required to develop a theory during their inception phase. We will add to this list overtime as we become aware of other resources.




2. Improving the use of theory of change 

DFID’s Research and Evidence Division recently contracted Isabel Vogal (Isabel Vogel Ltd) to conduct this new report on Theory of Change in international development. The objective of the report is to improve the use of Theory of Change as an effective tool in international development



3. Six useful guide on communication strategy

Effective communication requires effective strategy and a coherent plan of action. here are six useful guides from six different places that offer valuable information on what they think an effective communication strategy is and what it entails:





4. Outcome mapping a basic introduction 

Outcome mapping (OM) is a methodology for planning and assessing projects that aim to bring about ‘real’ and tangible change. It has been developed with international development in mind, and can also be applied to projects (or programme) relating to research communication, policy influence and research uptake.





5. The logical framework approach (AusAid)

This is a useful guide developed by AusAid on how to apply the Logical Framework Approach.

The Logical Framework Approach (LFA) is a long established activity design methodologyused by a range of major multilateral and bilateral donors, including Australia. It is based on asystematic analysis of the development situation, particularly key development problems, andof the options for addressing those problem.


6. Theory of Change Review Commissioned by Comic Relief

Comic Relief have produced a very detailed report on Theory of Change written by Cathy James.

The report aims to draw together Comic Relief staff and partners’ experiences in using theory of change; to identify others in development that are using theory of change and analyse their different approaches and experience; and to capture learning from everyone to promote debate, and to help inform what agencies using or advocating for the use of theory of change do next.

7. ESPA guide to working with theory of change projects 

This guide is for Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) research projects. Its purpose is to support Principal Investigators and research teams who wish to work with a theory of change approach when developing their pathways to impact and impact strategies. It may also be of use to other research programmes with a similar approach to ESPA.



8. How to note: DFID guidance using the revised logical framework

This guidance document developed by DFID aims to help DFID-funded programmes make the best use of the logical framework (logframe) in designing and managing projects.






9. Understanding and supporting networks learning: from theory and practice

ODI recently ran a webinar (May 5th 2011) entitled ‘Understanding and supporting networks: learning from theory and practice’.

Two papers were presented at the event. The first entitled Mind the network gaps was by Ben Ramalingam and explored the range of different ways networks are  thought about and dealt with in the development and humanitarian sectors. After highlighting gaps apparent in the understanding of networks, it then explored the different approaches that might help address these.

The second by Simon Hearn and Enrique Mendizabal entitled Not everything that connects is a network explored whether networks are always the most appropriate vehicle for policy formulation, innovation and global governance.

10. New mechanisms for linking research and policy

Impact 2.0: New mechanisms for linking research and policy supported a series of small research projects examining the use of online social networking services to link research and policy in Latin America. Twelve projects were supported, most of them selected from ninety-seven proposals received following the distribution of a call for proposals in May 2010.