Developing a Research Impact and Performance Management System for The Research Council of Oman

Abstract vector illustration of dashboard flat design concept

Background

The Research Council of Oman is the main funding body in Oman and plays an important role in implementing the National Research Strategy. The mission of TRC is ‘to create an innovation ecology that is responsive to local needs and international trends, fosters social harmony, and leads to creativity and excellence.’

The Secretary General of TRC, His Excellency Dr Hilal Al-Hinai, commissioned RAND Europe to develop a system to support the continuous assessment of TRC-sponsored research impact and performance improvement.

Goals

The project had two main streams of work. First, the project aimed to design a system through which TRC can measure the performance and impact of its funded research today and in the future. Second, the project aimed to collect data to set a baseline for a subset of the performance and impact indicators developed for the system.

Outcomes

The study provided TRC with unique data on the performance of Omani research institutions and on wider social and economic impacts generated through TRC funding. Three main methods were used in this project: bibliometrics, an ImpactFinder survey, and case studies. Bibliometrics were used to provide a quantitative analysis of scientific publications and citations stemming from research conducted at research institutions in Oman. The ImpactFinder survey identified the number and nature of research impacts arising from TRC funded research, while the case studies were used to explore particular instances of research impact in-depth.

In addition, the team developed an indicator dashboard to measure the funding process for research and innovation activities and to capture broader research impact. Underlying the dashboard is a ‘logic model’, a common evaluation methodology used to assess whether an organisation is taking steps in the near and mid-term to meet its longer-term goals. Logic models aim to consider what inputs and processes are needed now in order to achieve the desired outputs and outcomes, or results, in the future.

The RAND team then developed a dashboard of indicators, using the Strategic Objectives of TRC as outlined in the National Research Strategy. This dashboard is being integrated into business processes by TRC with support from RAND Europe.