Research in an 'impact culture'
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CTA. 2000. Research in an 'impact culture' . Spore 85. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46681
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore85.pdf
workshop on Impact Assessment of Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, organised by ECART, ASARECA, and CTA November 1999 in Entebbe, Uganda
The impact of agricultural research is one of the trickiest things to assess: yet, it needs to be done if the research itself and its accountability are to be improved. And since research agendas change, impact assessment (IA) is a recurring issue and it would be useful if IA could be institutionalised one way or another, perhaps even at regional level. These were the main issues discussed at a workshop on Impact Assessment of Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, organised by ECART, ASARECA, and CTA last November in Entebbe, Uganda. Defining impact forces people to think about who the research, and thus the impact, are intended for. Various stakeholders in agriculture were distinguished in one of the workshop sessions, and these naturally have varying interests with regard to agricultural research. The workshop pointed out that IA has never really attracted the interest of researchers. IA means additional work for them, whereas they logically want to focus on their research and on publicising its results. Research accountability is quite often defined in terms of priorities of donors rather than those of the intended beneficiaries of the research. Beneficiaries are usually not aware that researchers are accountable to them. Furthermore, IA is often conducted as an isolated activity by external consultants and is often donor driven. The workshop concluded that IA should be seen as a learning process in research institutions, in close communication with relevant stakeholders. Institutionalising IA thus means that it has to be part and parcel of a capacity building process, both in the institutions as well as in national and regional consultative structures