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An important aspect of ACIAR work lies in strategically planning for and measuring the impact of our investments.

The Portfolio Planning and Impact Evaluation Program helps to refine our priorities, learn lessons, and report accurately to the Minister, the Parliament and the wider Australian public.

The Program is responsible for developing ACIAR organisation-wide performance frameworks and evaluating ACIAR investments in the medium and long term. This program engages with emerging thinking in relation to designing effective research-for-development portfolios. It invests in the development of methods to appropriately monitor and assess the contribution of ACIAR’s investment to development outcomes. 

ACIAR investments are evaluated through a combination of medium-term adoption studies and longer-term impact assessments. 

Adoption studies enable research teams to assess the extent to which research findings are taken up and identify the effects of the project on the scientific community and next-users in partner countries and Australia. They also provide a deeper understanding about the pathways to change.   

Impact assessments are undertaken by independent consultants with specialist expertise in measuring the impact of agricultural research by analysing economic return on investment, assessing social and environmental impacts and understanding the contribution that ACIAR has made to complex systems change processes. These assessments apply various methods to quantify impacts, and findings from all studies are published in the ACIAR impact assessment series.

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