Arlene Birt
Founder and Visual Storyteller

Arlene reached out becuase she was interested in using research to create visuals that communicate complex and challenging social topics, and also evaluate their effectiveness. She created a blurb for a research4impact newsletter and ultimately had several informal and formal collaborations with researchers who responded. Afterwards she shared this about her experience: 

"Every field speaks in its own lingo - this seems particularly true in academic research. As a practitioner, the difference in language made it challenging for me to understand academic publications and connect to research in adjacent fields. So, while the process of research has always been a black box for me, through research4Impact I've come to understand more concretely how research is done in an academic context. I've made great connections, have started collaboration on research projects, and exchanged ideas."

Tatiana Bustos
Indep Researcher & Social Research Scientist in WA State Dept of Health

Tatiana responded to a blurb in the research4impact newsletter from a practitioner looking to discuss participatory research. They had a collaborative conversation with some brief follow-up, and here's what she said afterwards about the experience:

"I appreciate the opportunities research4Impact offers to connect with other researchers and practitioners across the county. I met with a non profit evaluator to discuss ways to incorporate community-based participatory research (CBPR) practices into program development. I was excited to meet with others who share passions for equity and in centering communities. I was able to offer some frameworks and models that I had used previously in CBPR related projects. I shared some tips and lessons learned for others who are just starting to engage in this type of work. I was also able to advise on how to create community advisory groups expanding the scope of "community" to boots on the ground program implementers. Really fun and engaging conversation! Look forward to future collaborations or discussions with others interested in embedding CBPR into their work."

Sharon Delcambre
Impact and Improvement Evaluator for Climate

As she embarked on a project with several new elements -- incorporating participatory research and social network analysis, as well as measuring social capital -- Sharon reached out to research4impact to connect with researchers who focus in each of these three areas. The researchers, in turn, got an inside look at how their work is relevant in a new area. Afterwards, Sharon shared her experience:

"I have greatly appreciated the willingness of the researchers to have informal conversations with me as our team works to design a brand new program from the ground up.  Hearing from a wide range of experts helped move my thinking forward by questioning my assumptions, giving me advice, and sharing resources.  Adapting research to community-level activities is not always straightforward, so I appreciate the input from the researchers and look forward to further collaborations as our program takes shape."

Heather O'Connor
Managing Director of Research

Heather reached out in response to a blurb in our newsletter by a practitioner who wanted to talk about research related to race and political engagement. The collaborative conversation was helpful for the practitioner in various ways and it was also helpful for Heather in her own research as a professor at the time. Here's how she described the value for her:

"As researchers, we don't know the organizational context -- what has and has not already been tried, various interpersonal and community-level dynamics, limitations or opportunities in terms of resources, etc. -- until we sit down and talk with practitioners. Meeting with practitioners from a nonprofit organization allowed me to better see the nuance in the organizational context. That informed how we, working together, refined the research question and design of the study."

Kimberly Ratcliff
Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Specialist at IRI

In 2020 Kimberly reached out in order to connect with researchers to partner on a new project. Here's what she said afterwards, after the initial connections and as the partnerships were getting underway:

"We were looking to find academic partners to bolster our research expertise to conduct quasi-experimental research on political party support. r4i was extremely helpful in refining our pitch and getting it to the network quickly and connecting us with those interested in the partnership. We originally intended to choose one partner, but ultimately selected two partners because we were so impressed with the conversations we had. While our partnerships have just started, the initial conversations have already been very helpful to think about evaluation and research from a more academic perspective."