Tools to leverage the societal impact of your research
Planning societal impact: the Logic Model approach
A logic model is a tool used at the beginning (or before the start) of a project. It helps you to structurally plan the societal impact of your project or orient your project towards societal goals. The model is used to systematically reflect on your project and impact goals in order to strategically adapt your project in terms of impact.
The logic model of the LBG OIS Center has a particular focus on stakeholder engagement as Open Innovation in Science processes are collaborative in nature. In the download box on the right, you can download the template as well as a short guide for creating a logic model for your project. A more comprehensive guide will be published in the course of this year.
If you want to plan and assess the (direct) outcomes of stakeholder involvement activities within your research project, check out the OIS Impact Model and the OIS Reflection Instruments below.
Planning the impact of OIS activities: the OIS Impact Model
Open, collaborative, and participative practices trigger complex change processes that lead to societal impact. Together with a diverse set of stakeholders, we set out to make these different pathways to impact visible, explicit, and tangible. The co-creatively developed OIS Impact Model shows how Open Innovation in Science (OIS) initiatives for involvement and engagement should be designed and what effects they could have on personal awareness and competencies, behavior and life circumstances of all those involved.
The change elements of the OIS Impact Model display concrete definitions and stakeholders that are affected by each element. They are filled with examples of how the different change elements can be assessed. The model can be used as a planning tool: research project teams can identify the key change elements they aspire to influence with their OIS initiative and set up appropriate assessment mechanisms throughout and at the end of the research project.
You can find the link to the interactive map of the OIS Impact Model in the box on the right side. You can also download the image version and table version of the OIS Impact Model. All documents are available in English and German.
Assessing the impact of OIS activities: the OIS Reflection Instruments
The OIS Impact Reflection Instruments is a toolkit that can be used to collect feedback on the effects of involvement and engagement initiatives in (research) projects. The toolkit consists of a set of different practical tools that can be used at different times during the research project to plan and evaluate the project’s societal impact through both quantitative and qualitative methods. The toolkit includes detailed guidelines, templates for questionnaires and interviews, and more. Together, they provide a comprehensive picture whether and in how far the impact elements of the „OIS Impact Model“ were achieved in an open, collaborative and participative project.
The OIS Impact Reflection Instruments do not claim to be complete, but provide a comprehensive foundation that can be easily and flexibly adapted to the project’s needs, complement existing instruments or provide a basis for individual approaches.
Are you interested in applying (some of) the OIS Impact Reflection Instruments in your context? Contact us, we are happy to support you to adapt them to your specific needs!
Did you implement (one of) the OIS Impact Reflection Instruments in your context? What worked well? What is unclear? What can be improved? To continuously update, improve and develop the instruments, please share your implementation experience with us!
Communicating impact: the Impact and Engagement Study Template
A limited set of metrics does not do justice to the multidimensional character of impact. Instead, a comprehensive approach is required to demonstrate the complex pathways to impact. The Impact and Engagement Study provides a structure to describe impact narratively. By following reflection questions, research project teams can think about the pathways, processes and methods of their research project that led to societal impact. The final case study can then be used as a basis for future learnin
Feel free to apply and use these tools to design and attend to the impact strategy of your (research) project. If you have any further questions about the tools, are willing to share your experience or offer feedback, we look forward to hearing from you!
Additionally, we also support strategic impact planning and continuous impact reflection, steering and assessment, to unfold the societal impact of your research.