Faced with the salient development issues in developing countries, agricultural research for development is increasingly being called upon to demonstrate its usefulness and its impacts, particularly among donors and policy makers. To meet this legitimate requirement, CIRAD has developed an approach called ImpresS (Impact of Research in the South) with the goal of documenting the contribution of research to changes within society and the mechanisms at work along the impact pathway.
This Perspective presents the key lessons learned from the application of this innovative participatory approach to a set of 13 ex post case studies, sometimes many years after the intervention of research. It describes the implications of this process in terms of practices among not only researchers, but also donors.
To go beyond the promise of impact during the submission of research projects, which is often reduced to a purely rhetorical exercise, CIRAD aims to develop a "culture of impact" that permanently modifies its research practices in order to generate more consistent impacts on development.

Download the Perspective policy brief here or view it below.