Independent report

Evaluation of DFID Online Research Portals and Repositories

This evaluation focusses on 3 portals and repositories supported by DFID: Eldis, R4D, SciDev.Net.



The evaluation comprised 3 primary methods:

  • market research in the form of a global online questionnaire
  • three country case studies in Ghana
  • Tanzania and Nigeria consisting of interviews, contextual inquiry, a diary study and a heuristic evaluation
  • a value for money assessment of Eldis and SciDev.Net

The evaluation found that the portals’ ‘Intended Users’ research evidence-seeking online is frequent, rapid and impatient: Intended Users frequently referred to their lack of time to devote to searching; they also rarely went beyond the first page of results in Google. Although there are some sceptics, Google gets results: Intended Users cited it as more efficient and often more effective than the DFID-funded portals’ own internal search functions.

Published 27 October 2016
Last updated 10 February 2017 + show all updates
  1. Management response added.

  2. First published.