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Case study

Aim of the tool
To study a particular unit (such as a person, project or location) up-close and in-depth, in order to understand how different factors and influences are related to observed phenomena.

When to use it? 
This tool is useful for evaluation purposes. Case studies can be used in all types of evaluation (ex-ante, intermediary and ex-post). In practice, however, implementation can be difficult in ex-ante evaluations which have to be conducted rapidly. Usually, only exploratory case studies can be adapted to ex-ante evaluations.

How difficult is it to use it? 
Easy – moderate – for experienced users/facilitators

Tool for thought or tool for action? 
Tool for thought and for action

Description and example of the tool
The "Creating effective Case Studies" guide (PDF) offers simple structures that can speed up and help ensure attractive and content-solid cases:

  • Possible structure
  • Steps in developing a case study
  • Resources and capacities needed
  • Integrating audiovisual and written dimensions into reinforcing information layers

The guide was developed for inclusive business oriented cases. The method is also suitable for other topics, in which case you would need to adapt/expand the content mindmap in the guide. Download the guide here. 

Source or further readings