Monitor your KE activities and their impact, learn lessons from your experiences and use these lessons to refine future programmes/projects:
- Opportunities for reflection Facilitate regular reflection both by researchers and by users/stakeholders on what has (or perhaps what has not) proved effective in terms of KE and enable everyone to share their conclusions with each other.
- Impact evaluation methods Use tried and tested impact evaluation methods to shed light on which KE processes have proved effective.
- Project-level evaluation Make sure that projects funded by your programme are required to evaluate their KE activities’ effectiveness and to report back the findings to you regularly, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative data. One potentially useful approach is to develop a suite of indicators specific to your programme that can be used to monitor the success of individual KE activities. Overall, project-level reporting data can help to identify (i) KE mechanisms that appear to be particularly successful and (ii) projects that are either doing well or falling short with respect to KE. Such findings can be used to target assistance where it is needed.
- Stakeholder feedback Conduct surveys or put other mechanisms in place to secure feedback from stakeholders which can inform your evaluation of your programme’s KE activities.
- Peer network Develop a network of ‘critical friends’ and/or mentors who can provide objective insights and analysis into the effectiveness of KE activities and the way those activities have been implemented.
- Case studies Produce case studies highlighting how and where outputs from your research programme have been used by policy-makers, businesses, the general public etc. Remember to inform the LWEC Directorate that these have been produced and indicate if any similar material has been produced by funders of your research. Case studies of successful KE processes can also be submitted to LWEC as potential hotlinks for inclusion in these KE Guidelines.