Tools for policy impact: A handbook for researchers

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI), as part of its Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme, has been looking at the links between research and policy for several years.

It is now beginning a process of identifying, developing, distributing and delivering tools, resources and training support that can help research providers access the policy process.

This handbook presents work in progress on tools for policy impact, specifically geared towards the needs of researchers. Overall, the RAPID programme aims to improve the use of research and evidence in development policy and practice through research, advice and debate.

The programme has four main themes:

  1. The use of evidence in policy identification, development and implementation;
  2. Improving communication and information systems for development agencies;
  3. How better knowledge management can enhance the impact of development agencies;
  4. Promotion and capacity building for evidence-based policy.


  • Introduction: From insight to impact in international development
  • Background
  • Why is this handbook important?
  • Structures and objectives
  • Bibliography
  • Resources: Organisations and Websites
  • Turning Research into Policy influence: Tool sheets
    • Research Tools
    • Context Assessment Tools
    • Communication Tools
    • Policy Influence Tools
  • Boxes, Figures and Tables


Start, D. & Hovland, I. (2004), Tools for Policy Impact: A Handbook for Researchers, Research and Policy in Development Programme, Overseas Development Institute, London. Retrieved from

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