Listen to this article

Belcher presents preliminary case study findings at IUFRO Congress

Sep, 2017

Freiburg, DE

Dr. Brian Belcher presented twice at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations’ (IUFRO) 125th Anniversary Congress in Freiburg, Germany. The first presentation focused on the Transdisciplinary Research Quality Assessment Framework (QAF), a methodology tested in three outcome evaluations. In the presentation, Belcher explains how a systematic review of the literature on TDR quality fed into a prototype QAF. Testing of the QAF criteria showed value in evaluating the degree to which current projects employ transdisciplinary approaches. Moreover, it helped to systematically evaluate strengths and weaknesses in the projects reviewed. We found good examples of the application of transdisciplinary principles and criteria. However, there was considerable scope to further improve research design and implementation for improved effectiveness.

The second presentation relayed preliminary results of three outcome evaluations of completed forestry research projects. The evaluations assessed the outcomes of three projects led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Using a theory-based evaluation approach, each evaluation began with documentation of a Theory of Change (ToC) to identify key actors, processes, and results. We collected and analyzed data to test the ToCs against evidence of outcomes. Outcomes came in the form of discourse, policy formulation, and practice change. The analyses identified strengths and weaknesses in knowledge translation to help understand the conditions and mechanisms needed for these processes. Preliminary findings suggest potential strategies to increase research effectiveness. Thus, the evaluation approach proved valuable as a learning tool for researchers and research managers. Moreover, the approach facilitated communication with funders about actual and reasonable research contributions to change.


IUFRO is a leading global network for forest science cooperation. IUFRO unites around 650 member organizations and hundreds of individual forest scientists from over 125 countries.

Learn more about IUFRO and the 125th Anniversary Conference. 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Your email address will not be published.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.