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Research for Impact

University of Cape Town and Oxfam via Coursera


In this course, you will learn more about the Research for Impact approach - a set of principles and practices that will help you to make your research more impactful. Traditionally, the goals and outcomes of research projects were to contribute knowledge and communicate this knowledge through academic publications and journal articles. But If we truly want our research to have an impact, we need to do research differently. Research that influences change in policy, practice, behaviour and attitudes.

On this six-week journey, Jesse DeMaria-Kinney and Mark New share their experience of the Adaptation at Scale for Semi-arid Regions (ASSAR) Project, where they developed and refined the Research for Impact approach. They are joined by researchers and practitioners who followed this approach in their research. Together you will explore the five elements of the Research for Impact approach, i.e. Theory of Change; Stakeholder Engagement and Strategic Partnerships, Strategic Communication, Capacity Development; and Influencing. You will also get opportunities to hear from researchers and practitioners on the ground who followed this approach, and hopefully become inspired and equipped to incorporate these principles into your own research projects.

The course is free to enroll and take. You will be offered the option of purchasing a certificate of completion, which you become eligible for if you successfully complete the course requirements. This can be an excellent way of staying motivated! Financial Aid is also available.

Taught by

Mark New and Jesse DeMaria-Kinney

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5.0 rating, based on 1 reviews

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  • Antonette C. Maristela

    Antonette C. Maristela completed this course.

    This course has been truly engaging, challenging and mind-shifting. It presents a very progressive idea of research that is useful and responsive to the signs of our times. The selection of resource speakers for the course ie excellent and diverse. The case studies presented along with the videos and conversations with practitioners in the field were very useful in understanding the concepts. Kudos to the UCT and Oxfam team! Way to go!

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