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Portfolio Planning and Impact Evaluation

An important aspect of ACIAR’s work lies in strategically planning for and measuring the impact of our investments
Researcher and farmer talking in Indonesia

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

The evaluation of ACIAR’s investments are done 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 a range of methods to quantify impacts and findings from all studies are published in ACIAR’s impact assessment series. 

Research Program Manager: Ms Bethany Davies