Melbourne School of Government - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 22
A global call for action to include gender in research impact assessment
Global investment in biomedical research has grown significantly over the last decades, reaching approximately a quarter of a trillion US dollars in 2010. However, not all of this investment is distributed evenly by gender. It follows, arguably, that scarce research resources may not be optimally invested (by either not supporting the best science or by failing to investigate topics that benefit women and men equitably). Women across the world tend to be significantly underrepresented in research both as researchers and research participants, receive less research funding, and appear less frequently than men as authors on research publications. There is also some evidence that women are relatively disadvantaged as the beneficiaries of research, in terms of its health, societal and economic impacts. Historical gender biases may have created a path dependency that means that the research system and the impacts of research are biased towards male researchers and male beneficiaries, making it inherently difficult (though not impossible) to eliminate gender bias. In this commentary, we - a group of scholars and practitioners from Africa, America, Asia and Europe - argue that gender-sensitive research impact assessment could become a force for good in moving science policy and practice towards gender equity. Research impact assessment is the multidisciplinary field of scientific inquiry that examines the research process to maximise scientific, societal and economic returns on investment in research. It encompasses many theoretical and methodological approaches that can be used to investigate gender bias and recommend actions for change to maximise research impact. We offer a set of recommendations to research funders, research institutions and research evaluators who conduct impact assessment on how to include and strengthen analysis of gender equity in research impact assessment and issue a global call for action.
Understanding WASH through complex adaptive systems theory
(Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC), 2013-12-01)
The development community has looked to engineering, social action, planning and evaluation to understand the often inexplicable outcomes of water implementation projects. This paper gives an overview of research that uses Complex Adaptive Systems theory as a framework to investigate the unpredictability of outcomes for community water supply projects. Preliminary interviews and surveys in a remote village in East Timor are used to investigate the viability of social network analysis and system dynamics as tools to make sense of WASH program outcomes.
Understanding the civic impact of journalism: A realistic evaluation perspective
(ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2017-01-01)
The importance of journalism to civil society is constantly proclaimed, but empirical evidence on journalism's impact, and how this operates, is surprisingly thin. Indeed, there is confusion even about what is meant by the term “impact”. Meanwhile, the issue of the role of journalism is becoming increasingly urgent as a consequence of the rapid changes engulfing the news media, brought about by technological change and the flow-on effect to the traditional advertising-supported business model. Assessing the impact of journalism has recently been the topic of debate among practitioners and scholars particularly in the United States, where philanthropists have responded to the perceived crisis in investigative journalism by funding not-for-profit newsrooms, with resulting new pressures being placed on journalists and editors to quantify their impact on society. These recent attempts have so far failed to achieve clarity or a satisfactory conclusion, which is not surprising given the complex web of causation within which journalism operates. In this paper, the authors propose a stratified definition of journalistic impact and function. They propose a methodology for studying impact drawing on realistic evaluation—a theory-based approach developed primarily to assess large social programmes occurring in open systems. The authors argue this could allow a conceptual and methodological advance on the question of media impacts, leading to research capable of usefully informing responses at a time of worrying change.