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Controversies, Consequences and Challenges

Measuring research impact and engagement is a much debated topic in the UK and internationally. This book is the first to provide a critical review of the research impact agenda, situating it within international efforts to improve research utilisation. Using empirical data, it discusses research impact tools and processes for key groups such as academics, research funders, ‘knowledge brokers’ and research users, and considers the challenges and consequences of incentivising and rewarding particular articulations of research impact.

It draws on wide ranging qualitative data, combined with theories about the science-policy interplay and audit regimes to suggest ways to improve research impact.

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How to Gather Evidence

This book provides essential guidance for professionals and pre-qualifying students on how to gather and generate evidence of the impact of projects in the community.

Including case studies from diverse community settings, it provides easy to implement, practical ideas and examples of methods to demonstrate the impact of community work.

Considering not only evaluation, but also the complex processes of evidence gathering, it will help all those involved with work in the community to demonstrate the impact and value of their work. The book provides:

  • guidance for how to present different findings to different audiences;

  • methods for effectively demonstrating the value of your work;

  • how to demonstrate the scale, quality and significance of impact.

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The Case of Social Policy, Sociology and Political Science Research

Impact has become a central part of the assessment criteria for academic worth. It has been adopted by many research funding bodies, and it is firmly embedded in the British Research Excellence Framework. However, a clear definition of impact remains elusive and guidance on how exactly to achieve it is often superficial.

This concise, informative book analyses impact across the social sciences. It draws on the analysis of the most highly ranked British impact case studies from the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, as well as fifteen interviews with senior academics, providing a longitudinal and critical framing of impact. The author concludes with valuable recommendations of how and when scholars can achieve impact.

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21 THREE Researching impact The criticism of impact as an element in the 2014REF focused on the ability to capture and assess the impact of academic work. The EBPM literature draws out the numerous barriers to the use of research in policymaking and therefore paints a bleak picture overall. Five years after the REF2014 a number of studies have analysed the process of the impact assessment as well as the ICS themselves, and yet confusion over what counts as impact in the REF context remains. This chapter will discuss the findings of existing research

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From Community Engagement to Social Justice

Bringing together academics, artists, practitioners and ‘community activists’, this book explores the possibilities for, and tensions of, social justice work under the contemporary drive for community-orientated ‘impact’ in the academy.

Threading a line between celebratory accounts of institutionalised community engagement, self-professed ‘radical’ scholarship for social change and critical accounts of the governmentalisation of community, the book makes an original contribution to all three fields of scholarship.

Showcasing experimental research and co-production practices taking place in the UK, Australia, Sweden and Canada and within universities, independent research organisations and internationally prestigious museums and galleries, the book considers what research impact could look like for a wide range of audiences and how universities could engage with different publics in ways that would be relevant and useful, but may not necessarily be easily measurable.

Asking hard questions of the current impact agenda, the book offers an insight into emerging routes towards co-production for social justice.

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Outcome-Based Payment Systems in the UK and US

As public services budgets are cut, the ‘Payment by Results’ (or Pay for Success) model has become a popular choice in public sector commissioning. Social Impact Bonds are a variant of Payment by Results also promoted by proponents of social (or impact) investing. But how effective are these approaches?

This short book asks whether the Payment by Results model is an efficient way to unlock new capital investment, help new providers to enter the ‘market’ and foster innovation, or whether the extension of ‘neoliberal’ thinking, complexity and the effects of managerialism undermine the effective delivery of social outcomes.

Synthesising lessons from the UK and US for the first time, the book draws on published work in both countries together with insights from the authors’ own research and consultancy experience to offer a balanced and bipartisan overview of a field where the evidence has been weak and there are strong ideological agendas in play.

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With new devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, this book makes a comprehensive assessment of the impact of devolution on social policy. It provides a study of developments in the major areas of social policy and a full comparison between Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To what extent is it valid to speak of agendas for government driven by social policy? With new governments in each country, has a fresh dynamic been given to the emergence of distinct social policies?

"The impact of devolution on social policy" uses a framework of analysis based on the nature and scope of social policies, ranging from major innovations and policy distinctiveness, to differences in implementation, policy convergence and areas of overlap with UK policies. This framework facilitates an integrated analysis and comparison of social policy developments and outcomes between the four UK nations. An assessment is also made of the ideas and values which have driven the direction of social policy under devolution.

With devolution becoming increasingly important in the study of social policy, the book will be of key interest to academics and students in social policy, public policy and politics, and will also be a valuable resource for practitioners involved in policy making.

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An International Perspective

Research by universities plays an increasingly important role in shaping education policy around the world yet there is much dissatisfaction with the ways that they share that work. This much-needed, original book analyses efforts and systems in nine countries to mobilize research knowledge, describing the various factors that support or inhibit that work. Beginning and concluding chapters offer analytical lenses for understanding these various elements across the cases. Together, this collection from a wide range of experienced contributors, provides an unprecedented international view of the way education research is produced and shared, and provides excellent signposts for improvement for researchers and those interested in more impact from research in education.

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The argument in brief Studies of the policy impact of entrepreneurship research have largely concluded that research has little or no impact on policy in this field. However, such studies have typically not taken account of the complex, political and relational nature of the research-policy nexus. Applying concepts that are increasingly used in health, social and other policy domains, we challenge conclusions based on linear conceptions of the impact process and argue that entrepreneurship research has greater potential to influence policy than is suggested

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621 Policy & Politics • vol 41 • no 4 • 621-42 • © Policy Press 2013 • #PPjnl @policy_politics Print ISSN 0305 5736 • Online ISSN1470 8442 • The politics of engaged scholarship: impact, relevance and imagination Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield, UK, The relationship between social scientists and the broader social sphere is changing as greater pressure is placed on academics to demonstrate the social relevance and public impact of their research. This pressure is creating

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