Assessing Research-Practice Partnerships: Five Dimensions of Effectiveness

Assessing Research-Practice Partnerships: Five Dimensions of Effectiveness

While research-practice partnerships (RPPs) have emerged as a promising strategy for bringing together researchers and practitioners interested in addressing issues in K-12 education, a framework is needed to define and measure the effectiveness of such collaborations, a report from the W.T. Grant Foundation finds. To help RPPs demonstrate their effectiveness to stakeholders and funders, the report, Assessing Research-Practice Partnerships: Five Dimensions of Effectiveness (31 pages, PDF), proposes a framework comprising five dimensions of effectiveness for research alliances, design research partnerships, and networked improvement communities (NICs): building trust and cultivating relationships; conducting rigorous research to inform action; supporting the practice organization in achieving its goals; producing knowledge that can inform educational improvement efforts more broadly; and building the capacity of researchers, practitioners, and practice and research organizations to engage in partnership work. The report outlines specific indicators of progress for each dimension, noting that indicators should be customized according to each RPP's "theory of improvement," and suggests that there are tradeoffs between general and boutique assessment tools and between quantitative and qualitative tools.