Evaluation methods for RDI programmes: What new methods and approaches are emerging to understand the short-term and long-term impact of public sector RDI investments?


SRID evidence aims to ensure that DSIT’s significant RDI budget is invested effectively and that we understand its impact and value for money. The Science, Technology and Innovation Analysis Team (STIA), the analytical team supporting SRID, develop the evidence base via internal analysis, cross-Whitehall collaboration and externally commissioned research projects. STIA work closely with other analytical teams in DSIT and DSIT’s partner organisations.

STIA continuously work to improve our approach and methods of valuing RDI investment to fully showcase and evidence its value to the UK. We are also interested in developing new real-time performance monitoring tools to allow for more agile decision-making and significantly improve our Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) capabilities. Improving our methodology for measuring economic, social and research benefits of RDI is also our priority.

SRID and STIA want to develop a stronger evidence base of the foundations of the Research Development and Innovation (RDI) system including how to: 1) grow the RDI workforce by improving the domestic pipeline, attracting and retaining the most talented RDI workers and supporting diverse, dynamic and creative careers 2) develop strong and sustainable RDI institutions that foster innovation 3) identify and capitalise on RDI clusters in the UK to support the levelling up agenda.
We also aim to develop a better understanding of how RDI policy can best drive economic growth, better jobs and discoveries. We aim to do this through identifying the best methods for measuring adoption and diffusion of innovation as well as drivers and barriers to innovation to create conditions for an increased investment in innovation.

High quality M&E for all government RDI investments allow us to understand whether programmes are on track to achieve intended outcomes and to identify the impact of the intervention. M&E is also used to track progress against departmental priorities such as stimulating private sector RDI investment and levelling up.

Next steps

If you are keen to register your interest in working and connecting with DSIT Science, Innovation, and Research Directorate, and/or submitting evidence, then please complete the DSIT-ARI Evidence survey - https://dsit.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cDfmK2OukVAnirs

Link to ARIs : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/department-for-science-innovation-and-technology-areas-of-research-interest/dsit-areas-of-research-interest-2024

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