Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development (K4D) Programme comes to an end after 6 years

News article 30 Sep 2022
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After 6 years the Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development (K4D) programme, in which LSTM is a partner, has come to an end.  The K4D programme has supported the systematic use of learning and evidence to improve the impact of development and diplomatic policy and programmes.

Funded by UK Aid, the K4D programme has supported the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and other UK government departments and partners to be innovative and responsive to rapidly changing and complex development challenges. K4D was led by the Institute of Development Studies and LSTM was one of seven collaborating partners across the UK; University of Birmingham, International Development Department (IDD); Education Development Trust; ITAD; Nuffield Centre for International Health & Development at the University of Leeds; and University of Manchester, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI).

K4Ds innovative model developed interdisciplinary ‘learning journeys’ using a range of approaches to share knowledge and experience across UK government and with other development partners. The research helpdesk service and emerging issue reports provided high quality syntheses of evidence and knowledge to support policy and programme work and future thinking. Innovative delivery ensured successful communication of knowledge and experience and organisational learning, strengthening the use of evidence, and learning in decision-making processes. K4D has produced over 1,200 rapid evidence reviews, 55 reports on emerging issues, delivered 45 learning journeys, created more than 300 knowledge products, and seen no less than 675,000 downloads of materials!

LSTM’s input as the health lead has been considerable, with rapid evidence summaries during COVID 19 led by Dr Kerry Millington, development of learning journeys for health systems strengthening including conversations about global funding infrastructures including the development of a health systems strengthening learning package and more recently supporting learning for global water security with Dr.Kim Ozano.

Other learning package themes developed over the six years across the K4D partnership included:

Dr Kerry Millington, Research Uptake Manager, said: “It has been a fantastic journey working on the 6-year K4D programme. I have been so lucky working with so many intelligent, hardworking, and caring people. This type of programme pioneers the way for decision making informed by accessible, available evidence from trusted partners working flexibly and responsively to crises across the world.”

The final K4D milestone event Evidence for action in turbulent timeswas held on 21st September in London. The presentations and panel discussions challenged thinking about knowledge and learning in times of complexity, crisis, and conflict. The eventhighlighted thatcrisis and complexity define the current political, social, and economic landscape and discussed the role that evidence plays in helping us navigate these turbulent times. International development experts, practitioners and policymakers unpacked the importance of rapid, reliable, and agile evidence in decision-making with speakers and panellists.

As K4D ends, the programme leaves a legacy of useful resources including helpdesk reports, emerging issues reports, resource packs and toolkits, recorded learning sessions and video interviews, knowledge products and more. These can all be accessed here. A range of self-guided learning packages, based on K4D’s Learning Journeys, can also be found. Do share with your networks.