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If a Report Is Published and No One Reads It, Did It Really Happen?

You’ve probably experienced it before: After months of conducting interviews, research, and analysis for a landmark report, only a small group of people actually read the final product you publish. This situation is not only dispiriting, but also presents a serious impact challenge to many of us working in the global development space. Funders and organizations may spend millions of dollars each year on research that never makes it into the hands of those who have the power to drive change on the ground.

But, there is a way to bridge the gap between publishing research and changing behavior.

In a new article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, “If a Report Is Published and No One Reads It, Did It Really Happen?”, GDI’s Malia Bachesta Eley lays out four key tips for ensuring that important research is read and put to use in solving global development challenges:

  1. People want less talk and more action.
  2. Shorter is always better.
  3. Know your audience and tailor the content accordingly.
  4. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Throughout the article, Malia draws insights from the experience of one GDI initiative – the  Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab (RAFLL) – but shows how we can all be champions for intentional, strategic communications to drive greater impact across sectors.