Impact and evaluation of research: Perspectives from funders and users of research

Length of session:
90 minutes - 45 minutes panel presentations, the remaining 45 mins will be dedicated to questions from the audience to identify salient messages and ideas that will be followed up by ESSENCE in its interaction with member agencies and beyond.

The panel is convened by the ESSENCE on Health Research initiative - an international collaboration between research funders, development agencies, philanthropists and multilateral initiatives. The issues of research evaluation, impact, use of evidence and ultimate improvement of health outcomes have been a focus of the initiative since its inception. This includes development of an ESSENCE good-practice document called Six Practices to Strengthen Evaluation in Global Health Research in LMICs as a tool to generate discussion among anyone with a stake in improving research evaluation in LMICs, whether they are funders, researchers or policy makers. The document provides practices with illustrative examples and case studies that show how the practices have been used in practice, and identifies common barriers to their implementation, together with suggestions on how they can be addressed. But most funders and implementers of research find it very difficult to get know effective interventions to be used. Because the practices were developed from the experiences of funders, researchers and research institutes engaged in research capacity strengthening, there is something in it for everyone.

The objective of the panel is to share perspectives from various funding agencies, evidence users and other stakeholders on the impact of research investments.

Panel scenario:
Panelists will be invited to bring their perspectives on various topics, including how funders measure impact of research, what is the role of funded research in developing the evidence for decision making, what are the current impact/evaluation methods, including examples from the ESSENCE good-practice document and other topics.


  • Maria-Teresa Bejarano, Swedish Development Co-operation Agency (Sida), Sweden;
  • Annica Wayman, US Agency for International Development (USAID), USA;
  • Katherine Littler, Wellcome Trust, UK;
  • Richard Gordon, MRC South Africa;
  • Iqbal Parker, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf);
  • Pamisha Pillay, Sothern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA).


Target audience: 

The session is appropriate for any level – and should be interesting to all participants in GES.

Type of session: 

Panel discussion followed by questions from the audience.

Other contributors:


Wednesday 13 September 2017 - 14:00 to 15:30