Research is a fundamental undertaking in enriching the knowledge of people in the society for the benefit of all aspect and sector in the society. In every research, the category by which it is defined most of the time is the achievement in terms of scientific quality rather the impact it has on the field under study. But new developments in the area of research has explored the concept of social research and the attributes of the social dimension to which in can be applied in all various fields of study.
The manner by which social research impacts the field of research can be deemed on how it is progressively improve the area to which it focuses on. In reality, this event does not happen. The quality by which the scientific factor brings of the research does not always go hand in hand with the social impact desired in modern times. (Davies, 2005) Most scientists would call their research good if it involves the scientific quality desired by the scientific community. But there is the realized need to involve social research especially in the manner to which research is implemented and governed by a policy.
The topic of social research is relatively new in the field of research, but it has gained a formidable reputation with own researchers devising a way to measure social research impact. Scientific communities adopting this new endeavor of involving social research in their undertakings has proposed the integration of measuring social research impact with the scientific quality produced by current researches. (Smith, 2007)
In todays growing demand for information and knowledge, the key issue being discussed also entails the need for policy, organizational management tools, and professional practices that should be attributed to the rigorous manner by which social research is underpinned.(Smith, 2001) Research funders are not only concerned with the scientific quality a research produces, but also the social implications of the research.
In able to understand the importance of social research, current studies regarding social research implications concerns with how to measure the impact of social research and does the desired impacts achieve by the society. This is generally important because the efficacy of a research greatly contributes to the improvement of public policies, enhance public service and contribute to the quality of public debate.(MacGregor, 2004) This also helps research funders to ensure the proper management and allocation of funds to any research.
Communicated research are variedly applied and used in any field in the society. As useful as it is, research is also a complex product that needs careful understanding and application. Research can influence and or change the way policies are implemented, and the practices and behavior of the society in general.(MacGregor, 2004) It can directly or indirectly affect the different components mentioned. Another most implied way is how it affects the knowledge, understanding and attitudes towards social issues that are relevant today. Although it is hard to determine, the future implications and use of social research understanding is important for the development of any society.
We can account for an example in how social research impacts policy making in the country. When the government committed to reducing health inequalities, it laid emphasis on gathering evidence to inform policy responses. This entails the extent to which researches must be reviewed, assess to which extent the policies reflect the research evidences, and evaluate the success or failure of such policy.(Caswill, 2004)
In context with this example, the researches on which the policies are based are assessed on its implication to its social relevance in terms of generating health equality. There the realization that health research is greatly utilized in policy-making and the mechanisms involved in implementing those policies. The impacts of social research in terms of policy making greatly improves the respective sector of the study, have added pressure for accountability on such policies, and a more research-informed policy making process.
The impacts of social research contribute to the generation of a policy that shall eventually lead to desired outcomes and include gains in the respective field of study. Furthermore, understanding social research implications on policy making entails the diverse means by which research can be utilized for a specific problem or cause.
Analyzing the impacts of social research on policy making also entails the understanding to which social research is underutilized for various reasons. This will enable policy makers to define further and understand the concept of the research to be able to apply it in such policies needed. Several other factors also considered in social research utilization is the exploration of priority setting, the activities of the system to which it is applied, the relationship between the research and the policy and the role of the recipients of the policy.(MacGregor, 2004)
In understanding further the impacts of social research in policy making, we must realize that indeed research is itself a social act that concerns political and economic perspectives. (Caswill, 2004)Although it is variously used in different context and settings, the important thing to note is how it is perceived useful and utilized. In doing so, the scientific community must also work together in order to collaborate of practices and standards to which research can be used with regards to governance and ethics. Policy makers in turn will function better is researches are understood either through personal experience or the involvement of other people who can mediate them between the research findings and its implications.
In the age of greater acquisition of knowledge, there is a strong pressure given to the European countries to review its researches in order to determine the efficacy in which they can fund specific research. In this context, we understand that social research plays a crucial role within these forms and types of researches because the trend in governance is the application of policies based on well-informed and utilized research findings.
In all aspects, government policies and decision now lays bias on the evidences brought to them by social research. These enable policy makers to create and formulate a more appropriate policy to which they can gear their priorities into making policies that greatly achieves a more sustainable implementation of development though policies created. Researches are more utilized in the sense that it brings more credibility than just the presentation of scientific quality, but also the realized implication of usefulness for the welfare of the society.
The research council as an institution must define the standard by which research findings are utilized for different purposes based on specific goal-oriented categories. It must understand that between the research community and the society, it does not only encourage a two-flow information process but rather a more purposive one in terms of the policies created for the welfare of the society. Researches provide evidence to the questions raised in everyday life. But more importantly, it conjures information that can be of help in analyzing and providing solutions to different problems in the society.
Such reliance on research evidences has been used in governance. Policy-makers rely on research evidences to back up their decisions because of the scientific quality is gives, but this manner should be critically analyzed before any action should be taken. Social research impacts policy makers because scientific evidences supports and concludes what should be understood about the society we live in. social research impacts policy making as a process because without understanding the standard and the manner by which information from researches can be utilized, will not be created with efficiency and regard for the people who it can benefit.
List of References
CASWILL, C. (2004) Turbulent Delegation: the Governance of European Research Councils and Research Policy. Cross-National Research Papers, 7, 7-14.
DAVIES, H. N., S. & WALTER, I. (2005) Assessing the impact of social science research: conceptual, methodological and practical issues. Assessing Non-Academic Impact of Research. School of Management, University of St Andrews.
MACGREGOR, S. (2004) The Impact of Social Science Research on Social Policy: Governance and Management. European Cross-National Research and Policy, 7.
SMITH, K. (2007) Health inequalities in Scotland and England: the contrasting journeys of ideas from research into policy? Social Sciences and Medicine, 64, 1438-49.
SMITH, R. (2001) Measuring the social impact of research: Difficult but necessary. BMJ.