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LIF Philippines Impact Report

Evaluating the impact of a multi-year capacity building programme

 

Challenge

The Leaders in Innovation Fellowships Programme (LIF) has trained nearly 950 entrepreneurs from 17 countries around the world. Funded by the Newton Fund and managed by the Royal Academy of Engineering (the Academy) with support of local partners, LIF is designed to build entrepreneurship capacity and help researchers commercialise innovations that address the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. A key output is the extent to which these innovative projects lead to economic and social impact in the participating countries.

Approach

In order to measure this impact, the Academy and the British Embassy Manila commissioned Oxentia to conduct an impact evaluation study for LIF in the Philippines, where the programme is viewed to have been particularly successful. The aims of the study were to better understand what the Newton Fund is achieving through the LIF programme, adding colour and detail to existing quantitative evaluations, providing stories and evidence of the impact, and identifying and describing enabling factors that have accelerated this change. The study included a baseline assessment of the local entrepreneurship and innovation (E&I) ecosystem, a survey of LIF participants, and interviews with selected internal and external stakeholders.

Impact

In addition to gathering up-to-date figures on commercialisation activity resulting from LIF in the Philippines, the review also uncovered valuable insights about the unexpected ways in which LIF has accelerated a change in the local E&I culture. Originally envisaged as a tool for empowering individuals in partner countries, Oxentia discovered evidence that LIF is also having an aggregate impact on technology-led innovation systems. The findings were documented in a detailed report, and a brochure of “case studies” was created to capture these success stories and examples of change. These documents continue to be used by local partners to raise the profiles of innovation and showcase the opportunities for research commercialisation in the Philippines. The study also identified new opportunities to scale up the existing impact and improve the programme. The findings and recommendations were debated during a roundtable discussion in the Philippines, and many of Oxentia’s recommendations have already been incorporated into the fifth year of the LIF programme.

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