RiLIES Guidance – Making your LIS project really count
Many LIS research projects involve partnership with customer-facing practitioners and organisations. Not to under-estimate the importance of publications, but if a research project is going to make a real impact, it has to have active support from the decision makers where its results have implications. This could include Councillors (particularly for public libraries), departmental or divisional Directors and senior figures in professional organisations such as CILIP.
All organisations have internal politics. Projects need engagement from people who have an awareness of the implications of any findings or recommendations, and can help resolve any organisationally “political” issues that they raise. If a project’s output cannot be sustained locally, it has little chance of spreading good practice elsewhere.
In line with the key recommendations in its report, Enhancing the impact of LIS research projects, RiLIES has produced a guidance leaflet aimed at these projects – it can be downloaded in Word or PDF format, and is copyrighted under Creative Commons so you are free to use or adapt it (with acknowledgement).
Institutional backing is key
Many LIS research projects involve the active participation of practitioners and/or their employers. Incorporating the support of Councillors, Directors and other senior executives can help to integrate the project and its outcomes into the organisation and assist towards making a lasting legacy for the work.
If projects fail in achieving lasting impact through policy influence and securing funding after the project period is over, important know-how and valuable advances in LIS knowledge will be lost.
Commitment from many levels is needed
Initiating and running a successful and impactful LIS project requires comments from many bodies: local government, other organisations and people. Senior executives can use their networking skills to promote the project and secure the contribution and support of key stakeholders and communities.
Through networking and support, these senior stakeholders can prompt other to take up or build on the results of successful projects, taking key development decisions and attracting further investment. One outcome could be the adoption on long term strategies triggered by project results.
Projects can use key stakeholders as figureheads for the project to front for the media.
The leaflet gives some ideas under the headings:
- How to create a lasting legacy
- How to involve key stakeholders
- How key stakeholders can make a big contribution to the impact of your project
This should give ideas for inclusion in proposals and project plans.
This leaflet was inspired by “The important role of Political Representatives and and Senior Officials in transnational projects” which was crated for the ERDF Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme. The original can be downloaded here.