Mixed Methods

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

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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.

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

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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.

Mapping village variability in Afghanistan: The use of cluster analysis to construct village typologies

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Authors: Adam Pain and Georgina Sturge 

Publication date: May 18, 2015

This working paper investigates whether or not village typologies can be constructed with respect to the behaviour of village elites in Afghanistan.

Going Beyond Mixed Methods to Mixed Approaches: A Systems Perspective for Asking the Right Questions

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Authors: Garcia, J.R. & Zazueta, A.
Publication date: 2015

An impact evaluation’s primary task is to determine which impacts were caused by an intervention, distinguishing them from those produced by other causes.

However, in complex systems, interventions may contribute towards less apparent forms of impact (such as negative, unintended, indirect and secondary) that are no less significant, but which require a different way of asking questions.

IDS Bulletin: Introduction – Rethinking Impact Evaluation for Development

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Author: Befani, B., Barnett, C. & Stern, E.
Publication date: 2014

This IDS Bulletin is the first of two special issues presenting contributions from the event ‘Impact Innovation and Learning: Towards a Research and Practice Agenda for the Future’, organised by IDS in March 2013. 

This introduction articulates first what these challenges are, and then goes on to summarise how the contributors propose to meet these challenges in terms of methodological and institutional innovation.

Dynamics of Rural Innovation - a primer for emerging professionals

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Authors: Pyburn, R. & Woodhill, J. (eds.)
Publication date: 2014

Dynamics of Rural Innovation – a primer for emerging professionals is a co-publication of KIT and Wageningen University’s Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) that brings together the experiences of over 40 conceptual thinkers and development practitioners to articulate lessons on agricultural innovation processes and social learning.

UNICEF Impact Evaluation Series: Strategies for Causal Attribution

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One of the essential elements of an impact evaluation is that it not only measures or describes changes that have occurred but also seeks to understand the role of particular interventions in producing these changes. This process is known as causal attribution. 

UNICEF Impact Evaluation Series: Data Collection & Analysis

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Impact evaluations need to go beyond assessing the size of the effects (i.e., the average impact) to identify for whom and in what ways a programme or policy has been successful. This video provides an overview of the issues involved in choosing and using data collection and analysis methods for impact evaluations. 

Impact assessment and the quest for the Holy Grail

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Authors: Common Fund for Commodities, KIT
Publication date: 2014

This piece examines the prevailing thinking and trends in evaluation (specifically impact assessment), which is important for understanding how a contest of ideas has become something of a battleground in the quest for better evidence. It is particularly relevant for the many organisations, who desire methodological rigour in their evaluations and yet have to be realistic when it comes to evaluation budgets.

What methods may be used in impact evaluations of humanitarian assistance?

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Authors: Puri, J. et alii.
Publication date: 2014

This paper explores the methodological options and challenges associated with collecting and generating high-quality evidence needed to answer important questions on the impact of humanitarian assistance.