On July 28, Dr. Paul Perrin, Director of Evidence and Learning at the Pulte Institute for Global Development in the University of Notre Dame presented Closing Evidence Gaps to Inform Programming Decisions at the USAID Chief Scientist Seminar Series. During his presentation, Dr. Perrin described recent efforts to synthesize evidence to inform development research programming captured in the Research for Development Evidence Gap Map (EGM) developed in the framework of the Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) project. Attendees learned about the creation of the Research for Development EGM and received a platform demonstration that showed how by interacting with the EGM and its filters, users can visually see where there is knowledge and where additional investments in research and evaluation might be warranted to further build the evidence base.
During the webinar, Dr. Perrin also shared key learnings from the Research for Development EGM along with recommendations for future USAID ITR/R programming in effective partnership approaches in international research, capacity building for research translation, and research financing. These learnings – available in three briefs – highlight the effectiveness of research strengthening approaches implemented to increase the use and impact of development research, including:
- Building research collaborations
- Providing capacity building for researchers, higher education institutions, and policymakers and practitioners
- Facilitating access to resources
- Strengthening the research ecosystem
- Strengthening research dissemination efforts
The webinar also offered an opportunity to reflect on the importance of developing and using tools such as EGMs to understand the evidence available and its gaps regarding the effectiveness of international development programming and to increase the use of evidence for policy and programming decisions.