Case studies, lessons learned, field notes

Best of UNICEF Research Retrospective: Documenting impact and lessons learned

Geographies Global


Updated 12 Apr 2024
cover image of the publication

In this retrospective, we look back at finalist research from six years of the Best of UNICEF Research exercise to gain perspective on its uptake and pathways to longer-term impact. The numerous examples highlighted here, including six case studies, are drawn from the many interviews conducted in 2018 and 2019 with UNICEF staff on 37 finalist projects, supplemented by survey responses collected from 410 UNICEF staff in 2017.

The UNICEF staff members we interviewed recognized how the Best of UNICEF Research exercise has helped them to make greater progress along the pathway to longer-term impact. The exercise has attracted global recognition for the finalists and global visibility for their findings. It has opened up new channels of knowledge exchange, boosted the quality of subsequent research and strengthened the partnerships that allow UNICEF offices to enhance research impact.

Evidence is becoming more and more central to how UNICEF achieves impact as an organization. This retrospective exercise was therefore an ideal opportunity to imagine more possibilities for the future. The final section of the report shares participants’ ideas and recommendations on how to develop the Best of UNICEF Research exercise in years to come – always with the aim of helping our research to have the greatest possible impact.