Successful cooperation between development researchers and practitioners and policy translates into better outcomes from development policies, projects and programmes. Research is relevant if it can provide meaningful input for the practitioners’ projects and policy makers’ policies. On the other hand practitioners and policy makers have to be willing and able to use these findings to improve their work. Through continuous communication, evaluation and feedback cycles both parties should be able to gain additional insights and improve future outcomes. But how close is reality to this ideal state of collaboration between theory and practice?