“The true test of research is whether people use it – for reference, for influence, and most importantly, for change.” *
We all want our work to mean something, don’t we? It just kills us when research (or screenings, or any information, really) just sits on a shelf unread. Unused. All that work – all that potential – just…going nowhere.
In order for it to be a force for change, our research has to grab hold of people and inspire them to take action with it. How do you do that?
Is your research being used?
How do you know for sure? Have you talked with your end users in the past 6 months? Are reports being delivered in a format that is helpful or would a different deliverable be better (fit for iPad, or in a podcast?). Do they contain the right amount of information? The right information? If so, have you shared your success stories with peers in the profession? What’s business-as-usual for one could be innovation to another.
Is your research creating change?
How do you know for sure? Are you measuring its impact? Maybe it’s making more of a difference than you think. Or maybe by tweaking your resources, your training, or your delivery methods a little bit you can deliver significant improvement. What metrics can you use to track and discover your success and gaps?
Your research and the critical information it delivers can create change.
How do you want to be part of that change?
*DFID website, several months ago. Sadly the quote is no longer there but they’ve got other great ones, as well as really interesting research studies.