The ‘Policy Pathway’ Matters: Assessing the Impact of Policy-Oriented Research Is Essential to Show CGIAR’s Contribution to Development Outcomes

One of the primary ways that CGIAR research contributes to development outcomes is through influencing how polices are designed and implemented. According to available data, research oriented to ‘improving policies’ has been a steadily growing part of the CGIAR portfolio, accounting for 17% of CGIAR research investment by 2006 (the most recent year for which we have comparable data at system-level) and policies and institutions feature prominently in the CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework.  As the development agenda broadens to include development impacts beyond agricultural production and food security, the importance of the ‘policy pathway’ will continue to grow. Identifying an appropriate approach for assessing the impact of research on policy will be essential to showing the CGIAR’s contribution to development outcomes.

SPIA asked Mitch Renkow to reflect on the opportunities and challenges of assessing the impact of policy-oriented research (POR) in CGIAR, and his findings are reported in this paper and related Technical Note .