Jun 22 2017

Impacts of Norwegian development research

Norwegian development research is widely used and applied in various settings, both in national contexts and not least internationally.

Few research topics are more directly related to global challenges than development research. As the UN Sustainable Development Goals have committed the global community to a universal effort in addressing these challenges, understanding the impacts of development research seems both relevant and timely.

NIFU presents a mixed method analysis of the use and impacts of Norwegian development research during the last 20 years. The study provides an overview of all national research efforts in the area, but with special attention to the contribution of targeted research projects financed by the Research Council of Norway (RCN).

A general impression is that Norwegian development research is widely used and applied in various settings, both in national contexts and not least internationally. However, many users seem unable to absorb and exploit the variety of research performed in the area. Better mechanisms for interaction between users and researchers are needed, both outside and within the funding arenas.

Furthermore, we find clear evidence that RCN’s targeted programmes have made substantial contributions to building research capacity as well as societal impact in the field.

On the other hand, many users seem to have little insight and engagement in the programmes. Future programmes could therefore allow for broader thematic orientations combined with better mechanisms for engaging core users and society during the programme period.

The study also finds that research in this field is used more to analyze current issues and prior efforts than as a foundation for future policies and priorities in the area. In other words, many users seem to have a more reactive than prospective use of development research.

NIFU Report 2017:13

For nærmere informasjon, kontakt
Espen Solberg, forskningsleder, Studier av forskning og innovasjon
espen.solberg@nifu.no
(+47) 951 19 482