Caroline Cassidy, Communication Officer for the RAPID programme, has just published a post titled: what does influence mean for impact evaluations? on 3ie’s Mind the Gap conference blog. In it she mentions a very interesting presentation by Paul Gertler who provided a refreshing and very nuance view of what influence actually means:
Not just policy change (or programme change) but also the acceptance of new ideas, the incorporation of new evidence to the political debate, the development of new skills, etc. It was a shame that this came late in a research communications workshop we had been running. It would have made a great introduction to it.
For more information on the 3ie event you can visit the Mind the Gap conference website. There will be very interesting tools and presentations for think tanks -although I would hope that there is also some space to debate the real value and relevance of impact evaluations vis a vis other sources of evidence. I’ll get back to you on this.