Project SOAR’s approach to research utilization
Translating operations research findings into action at these levels requires two-way information exchange between people who can apply research findings (henceforth called stakeholders) and researchers. Project SOAR’s premise is that this exchange will bring about eventual use of findings in relevant decision-making processes through the implementation of its research utilization, or RU, process.
The hallmark of SOAR’s RU process is bringing together key stakeholders and researchers to make the OR study more locally relevant and the findings more likely to be used. It begins with the purposeful identification and engagement of key stakeholders who provide input into priority program questions as researchers are designing the study. It continues with stakeholders engaged during the implementation of the study, the analysis of data, and the planning to translate findings into action. RU also occurs at the end of the study when stakeholders review the findings and then develop recommendations to change policy or programs.
This document outlines SOAR’s research utilization process, drawing from work conducted by the Population Council and MEASURE Evaluation. It includes adaptable systematic guidance to plan and implement the research utilization process to ensure use of findings in the study’s host country.