Baribsi village, Yako province, Burkina Faso. Sally Belem, 32, conducts a survey into child nutrition in the Yako area, part of a two year study. Here she interviews a mother as part of the BRACED programme.

Our approach

Christian Aid believes in shifting power and working in partnership, and these principles underpin the work of the Centre for Excellence in Research, Evidence and Learning, founded in 2016. 

We ask who is involved in designing research, whose voices are heard, and who is making decisions about what is communicated to whom. We focus on ensuring that the research we support and carry out reaches the right people to create change. And we advocate for equitable partnerships in development research.

In all our work, we aim to support applied research that is appropriate, practical and usable: that has impact.

What we do

The Centre for Excellence in Research, Evidence and Learning has three main areas of work.

We strengthen research skills and processes in Christian Aid, supporting the production and use of high-quality evidence.

  • We deliver structured learning opportunities and develop learning materials to build the capacity of our Christian Aid colleagues to engage with and produce evidence and research.
  • We offer technical advice and accompaniment for research and evidence initiatives across Christian Aid.
  • We broker relationships between Christian Aid and researchers outside the organisation.
  • We support the dissemination and impact of Christian Aid’s research within and beyond the organisation.

We do research.

  • We carry out programme and practice reviews and impact assesments within Christian Aid, and implement research projects with our colleagues across the organisation.
  • We are managing a long-term study of change with Christian Aid staff, partners and supporters in Colombia and the UK.
  • We do collaborative research with partners in civil society and academia.

We actively participate in the development research sector.

  • We critically engage in debates on the politics of evidence, practitioner research and the power dynamics of research partnerships.
  • We curate and share resources on these themes with a growing virtual network.
  • We are founder members of the Rethinking Research Collaborative and the Research Advisors Network, strengthening partnerships for practitioner research and advocating for fair and equitable development research collaborations.

Meet the team

All the staff of the Centre for Excellence in Research, Evidence and Learning have worked in both academia and NGOs.


  • bring together research skills and an understanding of practice
  • are experienced in applied, practical research and working in collaboration to develop research questions, choose research methods and plan for impact
  • champion practitioner research, capacity development and mutual learning.