Peer review artikel

Valorization of transdisciplinary research: An evaluation approach and empirical illustration


“In recent times, there has been a surge of impact-oriented, transdisciplinary research programmes and projects integrating multiple disciplines, types of knowledge and practices. An essential element often mentioned in the literature to improve the performance of these programmes and support impact delivery is continuous reflection and learning via evaluation. We argue that because a standard format for organizing transdisciplinary research does not exist, tailor-made evaluation approaches designed around the specificities of each programme are needed. The existing evaluation literature provides useful building blocks that can be integrated and adapted to specific transdisciplinary research contexts. In this article, we develop the valorization cycle and apply it to evaluate a transdisciplinary research programme in the water sector. The building blocks of our approach are: understanding of valorization as a cyclical process; theory of change as a logic model to structure the evaluation; productive interactions as a process indicator articulated in learning outcomes (cognitive, relational, and strategic); and impact pathways as narratives to explain impact dynamics. Our framework is based both on research evaluation and learning literature and on our personal experience in the evaluation of transdisciplinary research. The evaluation of the programme showed how the valorization cycle can point to different learning outcomes across the research process that are conducive to impact, and provided useful insights to the programme managers to adjust the programme. The principle of tailoring an evaluation approach to the specificities of the programme evaluated using building blocks from the literature will be applicable in other transdisciplinary contexts too.”

(Citation: Munaretto, S., Mooren, C.E., Hessels, L.K. – Valorization of transdisciplinary research: An evaluation approach and empirical illustration – Research Evaluation (2022)rvac019 – DOI: 10.1093/reseval/rvac019)

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