Issues in assessing the policy influence of research

This paper presents a methodology for assessing the influence of research on public policy.

The article reviews the origins of the methodology, outlines it in depth, and explores the outcomes after implementation. It concludes with issues in the revision of the methodology.

The study was implemented by the International Development Research Centre, Canada (IDRC), in order to learn more about how the research it supports influences public policy. Through a series of background studies and case studies, the Centre is building an understanding of how its work is used in policy formulation and will use that understanding to strengthen its capacity to support such work in the future. The case studies, which were conducted using a common methodology, were carried out primarily by researchers from the country or region where the research was undertaken. Analysis has involved researchers, users of research, and the funding agency in order to obtain the richest possible set of perspectives on the successes, challenges, and failures of these initiatives.This paper highlights what were found to be key issues in conducting the evaluation and suggests modifications to the methodology for the future.


  • Introduction
  • Issues in assessing influence
  • Issues in the research - policy nexus
  • The approach
  • Elements of the study
  • Case studies: the research
  • Analytical outputs
  • Issues in implementation
  • Conclusions
  • References


Carden, F. (2004). Issues in assessing the policy influence of research in the International Social Science Journal, 56(179), 135-151. Retrieved from

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