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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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ASIRPA: socio-economic analysis of the diversity of Impacts of Public Research for Agriculture


At the international level, a variety of pressures are contributing to the ongoing demand for objective and robust measures of the impacts of public research: tensions on public finances, the diffusion of New Public Management and Evidence Based Policy techniques…If the analysis of the impacts of public research has itself become the object of a good deal of new research, the analytical methods currently available for measuring impacts still leave a lot to be desired since: (i) they are conceived primarily in the framework of project evaluation, of evaluation for programs or specific sector, and not for the evaluation of an organization's overall impacts ; (ii) they generally are conceived of for the evaluation of economic impacts, and do a poor job of taking into account other types of impacts (environmental, societal, political, territorial…)

In this context, INRA launched a research project in January 2011 on the socio-economic analysis of the impacts of public sector agricultural research. The ASIRPA project has three main goals:

- to propose a new approach based on case studies to the analysis of impacts from a public research institute; The approach has to

1. be adapted to the characteristics of INRA's research and its wide diversity not only of targets concerned by the impacts, but also of socio-economic partners and of impact-generating mechanisms.

2. reconciles the different objectives of research impact evaluation : internal learning, the demonstration of the advantages provided to the different beneficiaries, accountability.

3. overcomes some of the limitations of current methods (standard economic approaches and qualitative and/or quantitative case studies) when applied to evaluating the socio-economic impacts of research: the time lag between research and its impacts, the irrelevance of attribution analysis in complex innovation networks, and the need to account for non-economic impacts.

- to test the standardised case study method on a relevant set of cases and supervise its implementation on a day-to-day basis at INRA. To enable a scaling-up at the level of the organization.

- to link this research agenda with other public sector, agricultural research institutions in different countries in order to explore the possibilities of developing a common approach to impact analysis.