Conclusion: A Strengths-Based Framework for Research Engagement and Impact
In reviewing the research engagement and impact literature with colleagues, I found that publications to date have focused mainly on descriptions of assessment tools, templates and frameworks as well as reported impact case studies. There has not been so much focus on the values and competencies necessary for effective and emotionally safe engagement; yet this is one of the most important aspects of the work of a social researcher seeking to make a real impact through research. Researchers are dealing with increasingly complex and sensitive problems such as the ones explored in this book. It is one thing to have a theoretical framework to guide practice but quite another thing altogether to know how to put the framework into practice. Effective practice depends on having the competencies and capabilities to engage with people, work to their and your own strengths and share your findings and experiences with people who will help to enable or facilitate wider change. This chapter brings together the lessons from the various chapters of the book to present a strengths-based engagement and impact framework to guide practice, highlight the underpinning qualities and competencies required by researchers and suggest training packages to foster such competencies.
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