RE: How to evaluate science, technology and innovation in a development context? | Eval Forward

Thank you for the invaluable insights. The discussion has confirmed that a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods would be necessary to evaluate the Quality of Science (QoS) in the development context.

The bibliometric analysis could be useful in assessing the legitimacy of the research findings and the credibility of the knowledge products. FAO undertakes applied research and produces knowledge products such as publications. Bibliometric analysis can help assess the quality of our knowledge products.

FAO undertakes not only knowledge work but also field activities. We use the scientific evidence for enhancing the impact of the interventions, solving specific development problems etc. For assessing these aspects, ‘utility’ of the research findings is more relevant than ‘significance’ of research findings. Relevance of Science Technology and Innovation (STI) is context specific. How STI triggers a transformational change is also context specific. Therefore, we need to come up with appropriate criteria for each evaluation.

Though the standardization of evaluation criteria may not be practical, it would be worth making efforts to design the STI evaluations comparable at the institutional level for system-wide learning.

Various development organizations use STI in their work and evaluate it. I think we can learn from each other’s experiences.