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Developing indicators for the UK’s aid spend on research and innovation (GCRF and Newton Fund)

BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) spends part of the overseas aid budget on research and innovation through two major initiatives: The Newton Fund and the Global Challenges Research Fund, or GCRF. Both funds aim to leverage the UK’s world-class research and innovation capacity to pioneer new ways to support economic development, social welfare and long-term sustainable and equitable growth in low and middle-income countries.


The funds are delivered through a number of delivery partners, including UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) – which brings together the seven research councils with Innovate UK and Research England – the national academies, the devolved Higher Education Funding Councils, the British Council, the Met Office and the UK Space Agency.

Several recent reviews of the Newton Fund and GCRF have highlighted the need to focus more attention on the use of evidence to track performance, improve impact and deliver value for money. As part of these improvements, BEIS commissioned this study to develop a set of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

Our role

Itad worked with Technopolis to produce a set of KPIs to track progress and performance against the Theory of Change that was developed during the foundation stage of the GCRF Evaluation. We also undertook a separate review of the use of indicators by other funders in the research for development field.


Contact Chris Barnett ( if you would like to discuss this project.


Image: istock/gorodenkoff