Evaluation of Approaches to Build Capacity for Use of Research Evidence (BCURE)

2013-Ongoing, Bangladesh, Kenya, Malawi, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Africa: DFID

The effective use of research by those who make policy in the Global South can have a real impact on decision-making. DFID launched their ‘Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence’ Programme (BCURE) with the aim of increasing the capacity of policy makers, practitioners and research intermediaries to use research effectively.

BCURE consists of six separate projects, implemented by six different partners, across 11 countries in Africa and Asia. Each project works with government stakeholders through a range of interventions, designed and combined in different ways by different partners.  These include: training on how to access, appraise and use evidence in policy making (online and face-to-face; in-workplace and residential; shorter and longer in duration), practical workshops, mentoring, facilitating online and face-to-face networks, developing tools, systems and manuals to embed evidence use at an organisational level, and working with ‘evidence champions’ in government organisations.

Itad, in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch, is conducting a 3-year realist impact evaluation of the BCURE programme, led by Isabel Vogel. The primary aim of the evaluation is to strengthen the evidence base on how capacity building can promote evidence-informed policy, to inform decisions within and beyond DFID about whether to fund and how to design this type of programme in future.

The main components of the BCURE evaluation are as follows:

  1. A realist literature review, synthesising published papers and grey literature related to capacity building for evidence-informed policy making.
  2. Six ‘programme evaluations’ of BCURE-funded projects, incorporating primary data collection and analysis of monitoring and implementation documents.
  3. Additional primary research, aiming to generate evidence from outside the BCURE programme on how and why capacity building can result in policy change and improved policy quality.
  4. A synthesis of findings from the above components, investigating how and why capacity building for evidence-use works or does not work in different contexts.

Data collection and synthesis is repeated each year for three years, to enable the evaluation to track programme results over time, and iteratively test and refine theories about why these results have been achieved.

For more information on the BCURE project please visit the BCURE website.

Find out more about BCURE Knowledge Products.

Image © School for the first time. Photo credit: DFID

For more information please contact:

Rob Lloyd
T: +44(0)1273 765250