Final Evaluation of the Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) Programme

This report presents summative findings from the independent realist evaluation of the Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) programme. It explores how and why capacity building for evidence-informed policymaking (EIPM) works and does not work, for whom, to what extent, in what respects and in what circumstances.

The £15.7 million BCURE programme aimed to improve the use of evidence in decision making in low and middle-income countries. It ran from 2013 to 2017, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and was made up of six linked projects implemented across 12 countries in Africa and Asia, as well as a number of additional countries reached through international networking and small-grant initiatives. Each project used different combinations of capacity development interventions to support policymakers, government officials and parliamentarians to develop skills, knowledge and systems in order to improve the use of evidence in decision making.

The BCURE evaluation was funded by DFID, conducted by an independent evaluation team from Itad, and ran from 2014 to 2017, in parallel with the programme. The evaluation had a focus on both learning and accountability, as expressed in its two key aims:

  • To strengthen the global evidence base on the effectiveness of capacity building approaches to support evidence-informed policy.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness and value for money of the six BCURE programmes.

The evaluation encompassed annual internal programme evaluations of the six BCURE programmes, a literature review, an impact case study of a non-BCURE capacity building initiative, and annual synthesis reports on how and why capacity building for evidence use works or not in different contexts. This final report summarises insights from across all of these components.

Read the report annexes here.