About this Course
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Beginner Level

Approx. 19 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 3-4 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English

What you will learn

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    Understand the key interwoven elements of Research for Impact in the context of development and adaptation research.

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    Identify the suite of activities involved in Research for Impact

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    Appraise opportunities in your research plan through an Research for Impact lens and identify challenges applying a Research for Impact approach

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 19 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 3-4 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
4 hours to complete

Introduction to Research for Impact

Welcome to Research for Impact. In week 1, we introduce the Research for Impact approach and its elements. You will learn more about the ASSAR research project and the ‘wicked’ problems that the project attempts to tackle. You will also get a glimpse into the complex systems within which the project work takes place. Transdisciplinarity is an important theme in the Research for Impact approach, and so we discuss its role in addressing wicked problems such as climate change adaptation. Chandni Singh and Hillary Masundire share their personal experiences around using the Research for Impact approach to bring change in their communities. We also hear from students, researchers and practitioners about why the Research for Impact approach is an important aspect of their own research....
10 videos (Total 69 min), 11 readings, 2 quizzes
10 videos
Course structure5m
Climate change and complex systems4m
Wicked problems and adaptation research6m
What is Research for Impact?8m
Elements of Research for Impact5m
Why researchers use Research for Impact11m
Case study: India - Adaptation along the rural-urban continuum - Chandni Singh8m
Case study: Botswana - Climate change adaptation: Perceptions vs. reality - Hillary Masundire6m
Case study: India - How vulnerability and climate change impacts migration from the deltas - Sumana Banerjee3m
11 readings
How the course works10m
Meet the course team10m
What to expect in week 110m
Dancing with systems10m
Adaptation is a wicked problem10m
Research ethics, principles and practice10m
Research impact10m
Case study: India - Adaptation along the rural-urban continuum - Chandni Singh10m
Case study: Botswana - Climate change adaptation: Perceptions vs. reality - Hillary Masundire10m
Week 1 resources10m
Glossary of Acronyms10m
2 practice exercises
Research for Impact approach10m
Week 1: Research for Impact20m
Week
2
4 hours to complete

Planning for Impact

In Research for Impact, we are always working towards some kind of positive change. But how does change happen in complex systems and how can we plan our research activities to bring about this change? This week’s expert, Marta Arranz who works as Oxfam’s Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Lead, helps us explore these difficult questions and introduces us to the Theory of Change, Impact Pathways and other tools that will help us to develop a roadmap from the beginning of our research toward the change we are planning for. Since projects do not always go to plan, we consider monitoring and evaluation as an important aspect of planning for change. We look at revisiting and adjusting our planned activities as we learn from experiences to improve and increase the impact of our research activities. Mark Tebboth and Alemayehu Zewdie share their experiences of doing research in East Africa and provide us with practical examples of how to plan for impact....
10 videos (Total 79 min), 6 readings, 2 quizzes
10 videos
Social change and complexity8m
Planning for change with a complexity lens8m
Impact pathways in Research for Impact10m
Understanding the system you want to influence11m
Choosing your strategies6m
Observing, reflecting and adjusting8m
Case study: Ethiopia - Mitigating the effects of Prosopis Juliflora - Mark Tebboth9m
Case study: Ethiopia - Mitigating the effects of Prosopis Juliflora - Alemayehu Zewdie2m
In conversation with Marta9m
6 readings
What to expect in Week 210m
Theory of Change10m
Gender10m
Monitoring and learning10m
Case study: Ethiopia - Mitigating the effects of Prosopis Juliflora10m
Week 2 resources10m
1 practice exercise
Adjusting your course
Week
3
3 hours to complete

Engaging and Partnering

A key principle of the Research for Impact approach is that we move away from doing research ON people and start doing research WITH people. This encourages us to think carefully about how we can most effectively engage with those affected by, or who may influence the outcomes of our research. How can we develop partnerships that will move us closer to achieving our research goals, and what are the considerations for identifying stakeholders? This week, Daniel Morchain who is the Senior Advisor in Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience at Oxfam leads us though considering these questions and more. We also learn about different methods of engagement and what we can gain from these processes. Daniel also discusses the challenges and opportunities of working with issues of powers and politics and what sensitivities we need to be aware of when engaging with diverse groups of stakeholders. For a more practical perspective, Prince Ansah from the University of Ghana and Chandapiwa Molefe from the University of Botswana, share valuable insights from their experiences working with stakeholders and forming important partnerships to achieve their research goals. As you may have gathered, using the research for Impact approach also comes with challenges and we hear from researchers and practitioners about how they addressed some of these challenges in their own research projects....
11 videos (Total 89 min), 6 readings, 2 quizzes
11 videos
Strategic partnerships10m
Why should I work with stakeholders?5m
Who are my stakeholders anyway?7m
Principles of stakeholder engagement9m
Stakeholder engagement methodologies5m
Power and politics in climate change research and action10m
Case study: Ghana Using Transformative Scenario Planning to identify community problems and collaboratively develop solutions - Prince Ansah11m
Case study: Botswana - Using Transformative Scenario planning and Vulnerability Risk Assessments to include community knowledge in policymaking - Chandapiwa Molefe8m
Researchers share their practical challenges in using the Research for Impact approach8m
In conversation with Daniel9m
6 readings
What to expect in week10m
Participatory processes10m
Introducing power analysis10m
Case Study: Ghana - Using Transformative Scenario Planning to identify community problems and collaboratively develop solutions - Prince Ansah10m
Case Study: Botswana - Using Transformative Scenario planning and Vulnerability Risk Assessments to include community knowledge in policymaking - Chandapiwa Molefe10m
Week 3 resources10m
2 practice exercises
Stakeholder engagement and power relations
Week 3: Engaging and Partnering
Week
4
5 hours to complete

Communicating for Impact

Different stakeholders have different languages, cultures, and interests and so we need diverse communication approaches in order to effectively communicate with them. In this week, communications expert Prathijna Poonacha Kodira, who is a consultant for the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, explores the process of moving beyond research dissemination and using the information and evidence that we have to deliver impactful messages to various stakeholders. We learn how to develop communications strategies with impact in mind by asking five simple questions: Why, Who, What, How and When. Prathijna also introduces the important roles that knowledge brokers play in ensuring that research findings reach the right people at the right time in a language and format that they can use. This week’s case study is led by Kwasi Appeaning Addo, who demonstrates how using drone footage of floods in Ghana has not only been an effective form of communicating research findings but has also influenced change....
9 videos (Total 60 min), 6 readings, 2 quizzes
9 videos
Why strategic communications?4m
Strategic communications and the Research for Impact elements5m
Planning for effective research communication - Part I11m
Planning for effective research communication - Part II7m
Planning for effective research communication - Part III7m
Knowledge systems, management, analysis and brokers7m
Case study: Ghana - Strategic communications for impact - Kwasi Appeaning Addo6m
In conversation with Prathigna6m
6 readings
What to expect in week 410m
Know your audience and craft your message10m
Channels - getting the message across10m
The elevator pitch10m
Case study: Ghana - Strategic communications for impact - Kwasi Appeaning Addo10m
Week 4 resources10m
1 practice exercise
Research communications and knowledge systems
Week
5
3 hours to complete

Building Capacities

As a researcher, you are not expected to come with all the knowledge and skills required to facilitate the change you hope to see. On the other hand, your stakeholders and partners may also require additional knowledge and skills in order to contribute to realizing your shared vision. This process of developing these skills for both the researcher and stakeholders is an integral part of the Research for Impact approach, and is called capacity development. This week, our experts Amadou Sidibe, who is an In-Country Scientist for Michigan State University for ICRISAT in Mali, and Edmond Totin, who is a Research Scientist at ICRISAT in Mali, help us to understand the different types and aspects of capacity development and how we go about developing the capacities of ourselves and others. Our case study this week features Renie Thomas who demonstrates how the use of games has aided the development of community members in Maharashtra, India....
10 videos (Total 61 min), 4 readings, 2 quizzes
10 videos
Why do we need capacity development?6m
Developing researchers' capacities6m
Developing others' capacities5m
Different types and aspects of capacity development - part 14m
Different types and aspects of capacity development - part 26m
How to develop capacities8m
Dealing with challenges6m
Case Study India - Developing Stakeholder Capacity through games and 3D models - Renie Thomas6m
In conversation with Edmond and Amadou7m
4 readings
What to expect in week 510m
Whose capacities need to be developed?10m
Case Study India - Developing Stakeholder Capacity through games and 3D models - Renie Thomas10m
Week 5 resources10m
2 practice exercises
Capacity Development36m
Week 5: Capacity Development30m
Week
6
2 hours to complete

Influencing for Impact

In the previous weeks, we learnt about the interdependent elements of Research for Impact and the various tools and activities that we can use to implement them into our research processes. In this week, we look at how to align these practices with our goals and how to use these elements to influence key stakeholders to bring about the changes that we and they want to see. We focus on building strategies and developing a good intervention logic to focus on which points of these complex systems we need to influence to ensure that the evidence from our research project is used and valued by our stakeholders to make an impact. For a more practical perspective Adiku Prosper Yaw shares his experience of doing influential research in Ghana and we end off by hearing from researchers and practitioners who share their practical tips about how best to achieve impact through our research activities. ...
9 videos (Total 56 min), 6 readings, 2 quizzes
9 videos
What is Power and Influence7m
Influence in Research for Impact6m
Who Are We Trying To Influence?3m
How to build an influencing strategy10m
Linking the elements in an influencing strategy2m
Case Study: Ghana - Diversifying capacity development activities to influence diverse stakeholder groups - Adiku Prosper Yaw8m
Researchers share their practical tips for using the Research for Impact approach6m
Course wrap-up and reflections9m
6 readings
What to expect in week 610m
Planning for Influence10m
Using evidence to influence policy10m
Killer facts10m
Case Study: Ghana - Diversifying capacity development activities to influence diverse stakeholder groups - Adiku Prosper Yaw10m
Week 6 resources10m
2 practice exercises
Week 6: Influencing16m
Week 6: Research for Impact

Instructors

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Mark New

Director
African Climate Development Initiative (ACDI)
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Jesse DeMaria-Kinney

ACDI Associate
African Climate Development Initiative (ACDI)

About University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town is the oldest university in South Africa and is one of the leading research universities on the African continent. UCT has over 25 000 students, of whom 30% are postgraduate students. We offer degrees in six faculties: Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, and Science. We pride ourself on our diverse student body, which reflects the many cultures and backgrounds of the region. We welcome international students and are currently home to thousands of international students from over 100 countries. UCT has a tradition of academic excellence that is respected world-wide and is privileged to have more than 30 A-rated researchers on our staff, all of whom are recognised as world leaders in their field. Our aim is to ensure that our research contributes to the public good through sharing knowledge for the benefit of society. Past students include five Nobel Laureates – Max Theiler, Alan Cormack, Sir Aaron Klug, Ralph Bunche and, most recently, J M Coetzee....

About Oxfam

Oxfam is a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty. We help people build better futures for themselves, hold the powerful accountable, and save lives in disasters. Our mission is to tackle the root causes of poverty and create lasting solutions....

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