The Foundation Stage of the GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund) evaluation entailed developing a fund-level ToC (Theory of Change), conducting a process evaluation of the portfolio, then building on this work, designing a five-year evaluation strategy and framework (to be commissioned separately). The Final Report is divided into three parts, each dedicated to one of these modules.
First, the report presents the ToC developed for the GRCF, including a one-page diagram and the accompanying narrative. The ToC draws on the literature of research for development, uptake pathways, innovation systems and research impact. The ToC covers a 15-year range and represents ways in which stakeholders believe GCRF will have an impact on poor people’s lives in developing countries through addressing global challenges. The aim of GCRF is to catalyse a new wave of research and innovation that will make progress towards the SDGs.
The second part of the report presents the findings of the GCRF Process Evaluation. It explores how the GCRF programmes and calls for research operate in practice, and identifies lessons to feed into policy development and the design of future GCRF calls.
Finally, the report outlines the Evaluation Strategy for GCRF. This identifies the purpose of the evaluation, evaluation questions and how the evaluation will meet the needs of a range of stakeholders, including Ministers and Parliament, BEIS officials, Delivery Partners, and research and implementation partners in developing countries. The evaluation is theory-based, divided into different stages and modules (including on management, relevance, gender and social inclusion, research fairness, research quality, and so on). The evaluation has four purposes: accountability and transparency, legal compliance, learning about the SDG-related challenges and learning to promote flexibility in the approach.