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3ie Working Paper. Theory-Based Impact Evaluation: Principles and Practice

Author:  Howard White
Organization: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)
Publication date: June 2009

Calls for rigorous impact evaluation has been accompanied by the quest for what works and why. Howard White identifies six principles for the successful application of the approach -- mapping out the causal chain (programme theory), understanding the context, anticipating heterogeneity, rigorous evaluation of impact using a credible counterfactual, rigorous factual analysis and using mixed methods.