KEI case studies

Examples of knowledge exchange and engagement activities at LSE

Knowledge exchange can happen with any non-academic audiences, and there are many ways to engage these audiences with your research.

LSE supports a variety of approaches and methods for engagement with all kinds of audiences throughout the research life cycle. Here you will find just a few examples of the innovative work being done around the School.

For more KEI inspiration see Central KEI Initiatives and Methods and Activities for Supporting KEI, and read through our guide to planning your KEI. To discuss the most effective activities for your research please contact the KEI Integrated Service,

Browse these case studies:


Topic: Migrant Women in Medellín and Their Right to the City

The project co-produced remotely a 32-minute documentary of the everyday lives of 12 women in Medellin, Colombia during the COVID-19 pandemic 2020/2021. In collaboration with the 12 women, researchers and filmmakers in Colombia and the UK the team developed a pioneering participatory video methodology using participants smartphones for filming, editing and online discussion and reflection activities. The film illustrates issues that already have been challenging for the women before the pandemic such as inequality, poverty and insecurity but also highlights new insights such as the importance of gardens for food security and mental health as well as mutual aid activities that took place.

In addition to developing a new methodology, this project enhanced women’s capacities through skill development, learning to use their smartphones for filming but also to join online activities such as Zoom meetings and sending data online.

The film was screened at film festivals, Royal Geographical Society film geographies conference and at local Medellin events and online.

Students and the education sector have benefited through viewing the film and the sharing of lessons learned in the development of a remote participatory video project.

This KEI project produced process-driven impact that created long-term skill development, capacity building and solidarity networks for the women.

Their beneficiaries (research users, partners and audiences) are:

  • Migrant women in Medellin, Colombia and the wider local community
  • NGO Con Vivamos
  • Spectacle Training - a participatory video filming company
  • Local policymakers
  • Students and education sector in the UK

Hear more about the project in this video or read this article Collaborating in a pandemic: empowering migrant women in Colombia to tell their stories

Adolescents and abortion: Ethiopia, Malawi and Zambia

The team worked with NGO Ipas and creative agency PostiveNegatives alongside youth champions to co-create animated films and comics that would amplify girls’ voices, reach adolescents and educate and inform around the legal options for abortion-related care in Ethiopia (Kokeb’s Story), Malawi (Mphatso’s Story) and Zambia (Mwansa’s Story). Made in multiple languages, these were shared online and through networks on platforms like WhatsApp and YouTube.

KEI funding led to a further award from the Medical Research Foundation to continue work with an Africa-focused communications specialist, and using the project outputs to create training for healthcare workers.

Mwansa’s Story: barriers to contraception and safe abortion in Sub-Saharan Africa Mwansa’s Story: barriers to contraception and safe abortion in Sub-Saharan Africa

Their beneficiaries (research users, partners and audiences) are:

  • Adolescents aged 10-19 years in Ethiopia, Malawi and Zambia
  • IPAS, The International Campaign for Women's Rights to Safe Abortion
  • World Health Organisation

Read more about the project

Climate Change Laws of the World database

The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (GRI)’s Climate Change Laws of the World database is the world’s largest database covering climate change-related legislation and policy.

Analytical and comparative tools make the data accessible to a broad non-academic audience.

Their beneficiaries (research users, partners and audiences) are:

  • World Resources Institute
  • Policy makers, parliamentarians, negotiators (globally)
  • International organisations e.g. UNFCCC, UNEP, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), International Energy Agency (IEA)
  • Institutional investors (e.g. pension funds) and green investment initiatives (e.g. the Transition Pathway Initiative, Climate Action 100+) (globally)
  • Civil society, including media; NGOs; the general public (globally)


Almanac of Electoral Ergonomics

The project created an online database to showcase electoral data for every democracy in the world. It is based on the concept of electoral ergonomics, a term that assumes that all small aspects of electoral design – such as the format of ballot papers, or the mode of remote voting used (internet, postal, advance, etc) which had so far been largely assumed to be neutral actually affect voters’ satisfaction, turnout and electoral choice.

The almanac also features information regarding an “effective access to the vote”, which aggregates all aspects of registration, vulnerable categories accessibility, and ability to vote for all citizens on Election Day into one measure which we wish to promote as a key metric of the quality of electoral democracy across systems.

This online compendium highlights examples of best practice and it has become an important resource for practitioners in the field of electoral management. The resource is fully searchable by country, category, and instruments with significant interactive content. Overall, the aim was to improve the quality of electoral democracy by providing decision makers and influencers with research based-knowledge understanding of how the choices that they make in each aspect of the design and organisation of electoral procedures affects the attitudes (satisfaction, efficacy, sense of representation, trust), their turnout, and potentially distorts the electoral choice of voters in general and specific under-represented categories (first time voters, disabled voters, vulnerable minorities).

Their beneficiaries (research users, partners and audiences) are:

  • Election management bodies (international)
  • Commonwealth parliamentary association
  • International organisations and NGOs including European Commission, Committee of the Regions, Counterpoint, Open Society, European Youth Forum, Electoral Stakeholders Network, International Centre for Parliamentary Studies
  • Citizens, particularly first time voters, disabled voters, vulnerable minorities

Global Kids Online

Topic: children's use of the internet

This international research project generated and sustained a rigorous cross-national evidence base around children’s use of the internet by creating a global network of researchers and experts.

The team created a best practice training and toolkit, policy and practice briefs, child-friendly resources (created with the participation of children) to promote digital citizenship, and resources for parents and teachers.

Their beneficiaries (research users, partners and audiences) were:

  • UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • Internet Governance Forum
  • World Summit on the Information Society
  • International Telecommunications Union
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Teachers

More information

Presenting Research Findings to Children Presenting Research Findings to Children
Presenting Research Findings to Children - EU Kids Online James Rattee, LSE


Configuring Light

Topic: social inequalities in public lighting

This interdisciplinary research programme explored the role lighting plays in our everyday lives, to help build a better social knowledge basis for lighting design interventions. It has centred on collaborations with designers, developers and municipalities. Projects explore how lighting is configured into social life: as infrastructure, as technology, as ambiance or as a particular kind of material that we make and shape through our everyday practices and professional expertise. The KEI Fund supported a project tackling social inequalities in public lighting, focussing on an urban space in Southwark.

The team created a website, film, handbook, report and exhibition. They held workshops, a training session and a symposium.

Their beneficiaries (research users, partners and audiences) were:

  • Local community members
  • Social scientists
  • Lighting design professionals
  • Urban professionals
  • Urban designers
  • Local authority

More information

Tackling Lighting Inequalities Tackling Lighting Inequalities
Tackling Lighting Inequalities by Configuring Light/Staging the Social LSE



Topic: Egg freezing and fertility

In this public engagement project, the team created a fictional beauty brand to inform and engage women in thinking about their options around social egg freezing and fertility. They also raised public debate on how these advances in biomedical science may impact on the world of work, relationships and wider society.

The team held a pop-up shop in London, interactive workshops, graphic visualisations, talks and exhibitions. They made two short films, a website, and produced media articles and engagement.

Their beneficiaries (research users, partners and audiences) were:

  • Media
  • Students
  • Researchers
  • Wider publics

More information


Timeless Timeless
Timeless The Liminal Space


Housing Plus

Topic: housing policy for practitioners and policy-makers

This project used the research expertise in LSE Housing and Communities, and CASE, to develop new thinking and solutions for the complex, interacting problems of housing, poverty, work, community and environment.

The Housing Plus Academy promoted knowledge exchange and participative learning among decision-makers, frontline staff and tenants of social landlords; tackling problems affecting both housing association and local authority landlords, such as benefit cuts, Universal Credit financial pressures, energy saving, work and skills, community enterprise, estate regeneration, private renting, community resilience, supported housing and housing young people.

They produced a practical guide for practitioners and policy-makers, held themed residential ‘think-tank’ days, morning roundtable sessions and a policy forum, and created a Housing Plus Network.

Their beneficiaries (research users, partners and audiences) were:

  • Businesses and industry
  • Public sector bodies
  • Charities and the third sector 
  • Wider publics
  • Landlords
  • Private and social housing tenants
  • Homeowners
  • Builders and Developers
  • Engineers, architects, construction and energy companies

More information

Open Minds

Topic: the perspectives of autistic people

Open Minds was an exhibition to improve public understanding of the unique perspectives of autistic people. It contained posters, sensory installations and an augmented reality experience. There were also recorded talks and workshops.

Their beneficiaries (research users, partners and audiences) were:

  • People with autism spectrum conditions
  • Charities
  • Research community
  • Students
  • Parents/carers of autistic people

More information

Open Minds Open Minds
Open Minds James Rattee, LSE


Tackling the War on Drugs

Topic: drug policy reform in Ireland

As part of the work of the International Drug Policy Unit at LSE, this KEI project aimed to meaningfully engage police, the public and key stakeholders in drug policy reform in Ireland. The overall aim was to sensitise audiences to the evidence in relation to drug policy, thereby providing people with the knowledge to regard existing assumptions with a critical eye.

The team produced a comic book series highlighting the life situations of drug involved individuals and how they interact with society, a series of posters and short factsheets on key drug policy topics for use in media and townhalls, a feature length piece on the project for publication in national and local media, and a podcast. They held town hall sessions in locations around Ireland and a policy summit on law enforcement and policy change.

Their beneficiaries (research users, partners and audiences) were:

  • Affected population
  • Civil society actors
  • Community leaders and activists
  • Local politicians and policy makers
  • Local businesses
  • Local health services
  • Local law enforcement
  • Senior police
  • Public health professionals
  • Government ministers
  • International policy audiences
After the War on Drugs After the War on Drugs
After the War on Drugs James Rattee, LSE


Other case studies for inspiration:

Africa Centre - The Politics of Return included an arts residency and exhibition. Browse the When we Return art catalogue.

Working with serendipity to produce impact - LSE Impact blog Policy impact in South Sudan

New tech can help tackle domestic violence: improving the UK Government’s Domestic Abuse Bill

Aspect: Methods for Change Read through case studies from our Aspect network partners exploring a range of social science methodologies that lend themselves to collaborations, particularly with artists and designers, and reach an audience beyond academia.