Learning lessons on research uptake and use: A review of DFID's research communication programmes, June 12, 2009.


This study is set within the context of the DFID research strategy 2008-2013 and aims to:

  • Understand what lessons are emerging from across the portfolio of DFID funded research communication programmes, and the implications of this for DFID to deliver commitments in the new research strategy, and to
  • Examine how the current portfolio of activities reflects and supports DFIDs commitments in the research strategy, so that DFID can enhance and modify it as appropriate.

  It seeks to learn lessons from the portfolio of research communication initiatives, in order to contribute to the development of a communication strategy for DFID Research that adds value to the communication components of individual research programmes, while at the same time promoting the outcomes of the research programmes through strategic linkages between them, with the range of research communication initiatives supported by DFID and through potentially new and innovative complementary initiatives.

This report is in two parts. Part 1 provides the key evidence and findings of the review of 17 DFID funded research communication programmes and the recommendations for action. Specifically, Section 1 provides the background and context, noting that there will be a major shift in both DFIDs spending and commitment towards the communication of research in order to deliver DFIDs research strategy 2008-2013. Section 2 defines the scope and objectives of the review and Section 3 the methodology and tools used. The lesson learning process used document reviews, formal questionnaires of researchers, users and the research communication programme leaders and well as key informant interviews. Section 4 presents the key findings – primarily from the quantitative analysis of the questionnaires and to some degree the document analysis. Section 5 reflects on the more qualitative findings and draws in the wider document review and the interviews with key informants. This section is arranged to reflect on the five key thematic areas identified by DFID as elements of their future research communication framework and action plan. Section 6 reflects on the findings in the light of the DFID research strategy results areas and Section 7 presents a set of key recommendations for action.

Part 2 contains the tools used to collect information for this study, and the raw data collected. This includes all questionnaires and interview checklists, and summaries of the questionnaire analysis. Interview notes were not included, as respondents had been assured of confidentiality of responses. Key findings from the interviews have been included in the report text (Part 1) in the form of quotes, text boxes, and contributions to the overall analysis.


Triple Line Consulting ltd, London, UK, xvii + 157 pp. + 124 pp.

Published 1 January 2009