Our ten most popular blog posts from 2013


2013 was a busy year for all our bloggers on R2A. Here is a selection of posts that proved the most popular over the course of the year. A big thanks to all those people that contributed, your insights and thoughts always prove popular and we look forward to hearing more from you in 2014! If you have not blogged before, but would like to, do get in touch.


1. How to write actionable policy recommendations

When writing a policy brief, there are many things one has to consider: The language has to be just right, not too technical but professional. The length has to be brief yet informative and most of all it needs to speak to a pre-identified and targeted audience. By Nyasha Musandu [Read more]



2. Indonesia is growing fast, as is the demand for social welfare, but is evidence keeping pace?

Arnaldo Pellini looks at how evidence is informing policy in Indonesia, arguing that a big push to strengthen the use of research and data analysis in the design of public policies is needed to sustain growth. By  [Read more]




3. Assessing the strength of evidence: Introducing DFID’s new ‘how to’ note

In February 2013 DFID launched the “Assessing the Strength of Evidence” How to Note. The Note aims to help all DFID staff better appreciate the strength of the evidence that they are using to inform their policy and programming choices. By Mark Robinson, William Evans and Kirsty Newman, Research and Evidence Division, DFID   [Read more]



4. Altmetics and the Global South: Increasing research visibility

Altmetrics (alternative metrics) are being hailed as a novel way to track the less tangible social impacts of research. Importantly too, altmetrics may provide a powerful tool to remedy the underrepresentation of Southern research in bibliometric data sets by 




5. Social media ‘engagement’: How can it support research uptake? [Part 1]

This post launches our new social media engagement series that explores how to utilise social media effectively in research uptake activities. Join-us as we explore issues linked to the use and measurement of social media. by  [Read more]




6. The use and abuse of research evidence

Andrew Clappison argues there is one huge obstacle flying in the face of evidence informed policy making and that’s the fact we live in a socially constructed world, where politics, culture and power shapes peoples behaviour and norms. By Andrew Clappison [Read more]





7.  Why Case Studies are a bridge to influence: A super-quick guide

This post looks at the power of case studies as a tool for communicating with different stakeholders, and is a timely overview given the Increasing number of practitioners and researchers being asked to develop case studies as part of project evaluation. By James Harvey [Read more]





8. Open Access: What’s that about?

For those who are new to Open Access or would like understand it further Research to Action has put together a list of useful places on the web where you can find out more. Below are some guides, platforms and articles which will provide you the low down and keep you up to date with the latest  on Open Access. [Read more]




9. The impact of research on development policy and practice: An introduction to a review of the literature

Dr. Roger Harris reflects on the impact of research on development policy and practice, built upon a literature review produced as a contribution to a new book for the SIRCA programme. By Roger Harris [Read more]




10. Are we losing sight of the true value of research ‘impact’?

In his latest post, Andrew Clappison reflects upon the discussion that took place during the Future of Impact Conference, and encourages us to think about the value of impact beyond the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) By Andrew Clappison [Read more]




Happy New Year from the Research to Action Team! See you all in 2014!