This blog post from Sarah Plachta Elliott describes how a System of Supports and Opportunities was used by Brandeis University’s Center for Youth and Communities in six neighborhoods in Detroit, Michigan, to inform the work of the Skillman Foundation in improving the school and neighborhood conditions for children.
This practice paper from IDS captures lessons from recent experiences on using ‘theories of change’ amongst organisations involved in the research–policy interface.
The literature in this area highlights much of the complexity inherent in the policymaking process, as well as the challenges around finding meaningful ways to measure research uptake. As a tool, ‘theories of change’ offers much, but the paper argues that the very complexity and dynamism of the research-to-policy process means that any theory of change will be inadequate in this context. Therefore, rather than overcomplicating a static depiction of change at the start (to be evaluated at the end), incentives need to be in place to regularly collect evidence around the theory, test it periodically, and then reflect and reconsider its relevance and assumptions.
This report by DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP) describes in detail how the researchers turned findings into recommendations, and how the various stages of stakeholder consultation influenced different elements of the project. It includes a step-by-step illustration of the stakeholder engagement process, which is also available a separate infographic.
The Psychology of Climate Change Communication: A Guide for Scientists, Journalists, Educators, Political Aides, and the Interested PublicResourceGuide2009
This guide by the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, while focused on communicating research on climate change, will be useful for anyone interested in the theory behind communication and behaviour change and those who need to communicate evaluation results effectively to specific target audiences or the general public.