In April 2015, members of all four CARIAA consortia (ASSAR, DECCMA, Hi-AWARE and PRISE), together with CARIAA funders (IDRC and DFID) met to talk about a critical aspect of our work: making sure our research is useful and used. This topic, which we collectively refer to as Research-into-Use (RiU), covers everything from stakeholder engagement to knowledge dissemination and advocacy. During this workshop we learned more about the RiU strategies that each consortia follows, and gained a common understanding of the challenges that all the consortia are facing. Thereafter the ASSAR team gathered together for a day-long RiU workshop of our own.
Here, members of the ASSAR team describe their experience of these events, and share their thoughts about RiU.
Jesse DeMaria-Kinney (Cross-regional Team and ASSAR RiU Group Leader) The CARIAA RiU Learning Review was an excellent opportunity for the CARIAA consortia to come together and explore our collective inquisitiveness about how best to turn academic research into real change in policy and practice. The consortia had diverse approaches, objectives, available resources and, not least, research subjects. Yet each consortium was intent on ascertaining the best way forward to ensure high quality research findings are not only turned into top notch research publications but also contribute to social change. Of the numerous discussions and lessons, one clear message stuck with me. RiU does not depend on any one consortium partner or group of experts – internal or external – but rather, it should be seen as a new approach to undertaking research itself.