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ERIC Number: EJ1165859
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0958-2029
Research Impact Assessment in Agriculture--A Review of Approaches and Impact Areas
Weißhuhn, Peter; Helming, Katharina; Ferretti, Johanna
Research Evaluation, v27 n1 p36-42 Jan 2018
Research has a role to play in society's endeavour for sustainable development. This is particularly true for agricultural research, since agriculture is at the nexus between numerous sustainable development goals. Yet, generally accepted methods for linking research outcomes to sustainability impacts are missing. We conducted a review of scientific literature to analyse how impacts of agricultural research were assessed and what types of impacts were covered. A total of 171 papers published between 2008 and 2016 were reviewed. Our analytical framework covered three categories: (1) the assessment level of research (policy, programme, organization, project, technology, or other); (2) the type of assessment method (conceptual, qualitative, or quantitative); and (3) the impact areas (economic, social, environmental, or sustainability). The analysis revealed that most papers (56%) addressed economic impacts, such as cost-effectiveness of research funding or macroeconomic effects. In total, 42% analysed social impacts, like food security or aspects of equity. Very few papers (2%) examined environmental impacts, such as climate effects or ecosystem change. Only one paper considered all three sustainability dimensions. We found a majority of papers assessing research impacts at the level of technologies, particularly for economic impacts. There was a tendency of preferring quantitative methods for economic impacts, and qualitative methods for social impacts. The most striking finding was the "blind eye" towards environmental and sustainability implications in research impact assessments. Efforts have to be made to close this gap and to develop integrated research assessment approaches, such as those available for policy impact assessments.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A