Impact and engagement can and should be an integral part of the research process. By embedding impact into your research you can more easily identify who your key stakeholders are, develop relationships, optimise communication and even work with them to shape the research questions. By considering impact early on, you can also build in the means to evaluate the impact of your research.
One way to embed impact and evaluation into your research is to develop a Theory of Change or Logic Model.
There are some excellent resources to be found here:
Research to Action: Theory of Change
Alternatively, you can think about the 5Ws &H of impact:
- What has changed because of your research?
- Who has been impacted?
- Why have they been impacted?
- When did the change take place and Where?
- How did impact happen?
Look to the planning templates and links below for more information.