We have a consistent, organisation-wide approach to planning research and managing its impact, which promotes understanding and demonstration of its real-world value.

Impact and evidence based planning, monitoring and evaluation is an intrinsic element of our Planning and Performance Framework and Management Cycle.

Impact management is integrated into our strategic and operational plans, and relies on a two-way engagement with all actors along the impact pathway to ensure the research is relevant, realistic and that risks are identified and mitigated.

Managing the impact of our research means we can also improve:

  • Advocacy - increased capacity to articulate future and delivered impact
  • Accountability - the ability to provide defensible, robust evidence of impact
  • Analysis - the opportunity to better understand and maximise research impact, and
  • Allocation - to enable more informed decision making.

Our approach to impact management is based on a program logic model, intended to be used as a strategic management tool for supporting the achievements of our goals. The model captures the process of creating impact which begins with deploying inputs, to conduct research activities and produce outputs, which themselves are translated through short to medium term outcomes into long term impact.

Infographic showing CSIRO's Impact framework an the flow of engagement through:

  • Inputs (e.g. resources, staff)
  • Activities (e.g. methodology, work)
  • Outputs (e.g. publications, reports)
  • Outcomes (e.g. change in working practices, technology licences)
  • Impact (e.g. social, environmental, economic)
  1. Planned work
  2. Intended results
  3. Can be controlled
  4. Direct influence
  5. Indirect influence
  6. Impact activity
  7. Planning
  8. Monitoring
  9. Evaluating

The flow of engagement through Inputs, Activities, Outputs, Outcomes and Impact.  ©WK Kellogg Foundation

An impact pathway analysis is the mechanism by which causal links between research and its intended impacts can be identified. This includes defining changes, linking processes, and identifying indicators to monitor progress towards intended impacts.

We also deliver an organistion-wide cultural program to support long term improvement in our outcome focus, customer service and impact delivery as “the way CSIRO does business”, including:

  • Strong leadership and accountability requirements relevant to role.
  • Capability building (including training and learning & development courses).
  • A focus on evidence of outcomes in performance conversations at all levels – not just inputs or compliance.
  • Linking organisational efforts to corporate outcomes through setting specific, measurable, achievable and time-bound outcomes and ensures teams and individuals are accountable for, and own, them.
  • Accountability for actions and behaviours supporting impact is reflected explicitly in staff APAs (each according to function).
  • Staff induction, review, recruitment, promotions & rewards and other HR processes are being reviewed and amended as necessary to reinforce/build desired impact behaviours.

Find out more about how we're ensuring we deliver impact.

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