Framing research impact

Theory of Change

A Theory of Change articulates the assumptions about the process through which change will occur, and specifies the ways in which all of the required early and intermediate outcomes related to achieving a desired long-term change will be brought about and documented as they occur (Anderson, 2006). Here, it comprises the description or visualisation of the change process and accompanying assumptions from problem definition to the identification of knowledge gaps through research design and execution to the realisation of expected output and outcomes and the desired contribution to impact. It is an important tool for monitoring and evaluation, and in particular for learning.

Impact Pathway

An Impact Pathway scheme is used as the base for monitoring and evaluation and describes in detail the output (i.e. the direct and tangible results) to outcome (e.g. changes in awareness, skills or understanding resulting from use of research results) and impact relations, with verifiable and preferably measurable indicators for output and outcome.