Contribution Mapping

From impact to contributions

Most approaches that evaluate evidence use focus on impact. We feel that ‘impact’ insufficiently addresses the work required for evidence to be used or usable. Instead, we look at what contributions research evidence for instance makes to the way local health systems are arranged. We are able to distil lessons or design principles from the rich descriptions of how, and in what way, evidence contributed to policy and/or practice.

About Contribution Mapping

Contribution Mapping has been earlier developed by Kok & Schuit. In their empirical cases they observed no notions of ‘impacts’ in the way the literature by then described them. They did observe all kinds of contributions that research evidence made to healthcare practices. Subsequently, they developed these empirical insights into a more conceptual understanding of the dynamics in research use or the use of knowledge in general. The method has been widely applied and published on in the scientific literature. Should you be interested in reading more about Contribution Mapping, you can start with the 2012 conceptual paper or the more recent account where 30 empirical cases were analysed.

How do we use Contribution Mapping

Contribution Mapping is very much entangled with the entire Support-KT programme. We use Contribution Mapping to reflect on the entire evidence to action cycle, but for instance also specifically to track how deliberative dialogues contribute to the use of research evidence in policy.