What’s the point of research, anyway? A resounding call for instigating change

The last session of the day 1 of GDNet’s Awards and Medals (A&M) Workshop, taking place just hours before GDN’s 13th  Annual Global Development Conference on Urbanization and Development, revolved around the theory and practice of the most significant change

Awards & Medals Finalists, Group work

Awards & Medals Finalists, Group work

Led by Robbie Gregorowski, a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) consultant with ITAD and GDNet, A&M participants were asked to select what they perceived were the “top” 3 to 5 research papers out of a group of 10, using criteria such as rigor, robustness, and direct causation from research to policy. The objective of the exercise was to identify examples where research travels and tangibly impacts policy, bringing about real change to the people and places that need it the most.

The session turned out to be a prime opportunity for researchers to discuss their own work, and site their own successes, making a significant change in the world of policy. The role of serendipity was also discussed, where luck may sometimes play a central role in bringing research to the fore, for policymakers to see and act upon.

The bottom line, and the consensus reached by the majority of participants in the session, is that research is not intended to stagnate, and be immobile. After all, it is created by individuals passionate about their own subject matter, keen on making a difference, and even more adamant about seeing that change come to fruition.


About Maya Madkour
I am a Sociologist, eternal optimist, and spreader of joy. I was born in London, raised in Cairo, and call Dallas my home away from home; where I have been travelling for the past fourteen years. This blog is a place where we can share insights, learn, grow and master the art of life together.

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