Since 2009 the Packard Foundation’s Science subprogram has been following a use-inspired research approach, Linking Knowledge with Action (LKwA), to guide its funding. LKwA is being used to fund scientific research and syntheses that advance strategic objectives, and this report describes its conceptual framework and operational implementation at the Foundation.
This approach involves innovations in grantmaking that emerged through developmental evaluation, a collaborative process between an independent evaluator and program staff. Using LKwA the Science subprogram develops projects at the request of and in consultation with other Conservation & Science (C&S) subprograms focused on conservation action. LKwA then guides the creation of a three-cornered relationship in which research is jointly produced by a Science subprogram grantee and the intended user of that research, with funding from the Foundation. Each project is in effect a small-scale strategic investment, aimed at informing decisions and decision makers in ways that align with the conservation goals of C&S.