In terms of methodology, different stakeholders – research organisations, funding agencies, ministries etc. – apply a wide variety of approaches. Shared thinking is gradually taking shape at national and international level on pooling best practices and defining common systems of reference and standardised methodological frameworks that can be adapted to the great variety of analysis subjects, stakeholders and contexts. The impact pathway of research thus constitutes a useful tool for grasping the concept and sharing a common vocabulary.
At ANR, impact assessment is implemented at each step of the impact pathway: from the beginning of the project (1), to the follow-up (2), the end (3) and the ex post steps of the project (4, 5).
The analyses conducted by the ANR cover project portfolios, i.e. groups of projects constituted according to the analysis required. This may be a set of projects funded under a given research theme, through a national programme, via a specific funding instrument or according to a call for proposals or a stakeholder (e.g. research organisation or region).
Given the multidimensional nature of this activity, collaboration between ANR and research stakeholders is essential throughout the process: defining the scope, collecting, processing, using and interpreting the data, producing analyses, communication. Prioritising openness, transparency and knowledge sharing, the ANR communicates about the impact data in a variety of formats: datasets, mappings, reports, thematic records, workshops, symposia etc.