Listen to this article

Belcher presents on research evaluation at Science Forum 2018 in Stellenbosch

Oct, 2018

Stellenbosch, ZA

The CGIAR’s Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) and the South African Agricultural Research Council hosted the 2018 Science Forum. Held from October 10-12, the Science Forum brought researchers and decision-makers together in Stellenbosch. As the fourth event of its kind, the Forum aimed to identify interactions between international agricultural research and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). By identifying potential alignment, the CGIAR can inform the development of research themes and frameworks. These can then be rooted in the CGIAR’s goals of strengthening the science-policy interface and delivering on research impact.

Evaluating and measuring research impact have become central to this discussion. In order to elicit understandings of how research can strengthen the science-policy interface, the CGIAR needs to strike the right balance between ‘wins and losses’ in the context of the SDGs. Therefore, the CGIAR will be able to recognize integration and complexity within socio-ecological systems. This requires a complex-aware approach to research evaluation, challenging researchers to ensure societal relevance in their research.


The CGIAR Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) invited Dr. Brian Belcher to present and participate in a workshop on “Impact Assessment and Landscapes in CGIAR”. Belcher’s presentation highlighted how research intervenes on multiple variables, with multiple (potential) pathways to impact. For that reason, reductionist experimental and quasi-experimental impact assessment methods, which do not accommodate complexity well, are inappropriate. Belcher presented the theory-based outcome evaluation approach developed by the SRE program in partnership with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) as a valuable approach for research planning, monitoring, evaluation, and learning. The discussion informed SPIA’s efforts to develop a broader set of tools for research evaluation in the CGIAR. Learn more about the presentation entitled “Impact Assessment in Landscapes Research: Practical & Conceptual Considerations”.

Learn more about the ISPC and SPIA at the CGIAR. Read more news posts from the Sustainability Research Effectiveness Program.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.