Latest CDI Practice Papers Out

The Centre for Development Impact has recently published a series of Practice Papers:

Practice Paper 18 – Reflections from a Realist Evaluation in Progress: Scaling Ladders and Stitching Theory

This CDI Practice Paper, written by Melanie Punton, Isabel Vogel, and Rob Lloyd, reflects on the first year of a three-year realist impact evaluation, examining the Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). It describes some of the challenges faced and lessons learned, providing insights into the potential value of realist approaches within international development.

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Practice Paper 17 – Building Evaluability Assessments into Institutional Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Frameworks

This CDI Practice Paper by Richard Longhurst, Peter Wichmand and Burt Perrin discusses how evaluability assessments (EAs) can support the choice of evaluation approaches for determining impact, drawing on recent experiences of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour of the International Labour Office..

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These experiences focused on developing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy such that some elements of an EA were built into the system and could be deployed at most points in the programming cycle, in particular to address which questions are important for the evaluation. When used in conjunction with other criteria, this allows for a more informed choice of the evaluation method and related impact.

Practice Paper 16 – Using Participatory Statistics to Examine the Impact of Interventions to Eradicate Slavery: Lessons from the Field

This CDI Practice Paper by Pauline Oosterhoff, Sowmyaa Bharadwaj, Danny Burns, Aruna Mohan Raj, Rituu B. Nanda and Pradeep Narayanan reflects on the use of participatory statistics to assess the impact of interventions to eradicate slavery and bonded labour.

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It deals with: (1) the challenges of estimating changes in the magnitude of various forms of slavery; (2) the potential of combining participatory approaches with statistical principles to generate robust data for assessing impact of slavery eradication; and (3) the practical and ethical questions in relation to working with people living within a context of modern slavery. The paper draws lessons from the realities of using participatory statistics to support the evaluation of a slavery eradication programme in North India.

Practice Paper 15 – Bridging the Gap: Synthesising Evidence from Secondary Quantitative and Primary Qualitative Data

This paper by Keetie Roelen explores the ‘matching problem’ and a participatory tool for overcoming this challenge in a bid to offer wider reflections about the combination of secondary and primary data as well as quantitative and qualitative data in mixed-methods studies and evaluation. It does so in reference to research on child poverty in Burundi, Ethiopia and Vietnam.

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There is widespread recognition that mixed-methods approaches are a ‘platinum standard’ in research and evaluation and that the expanding availability of secondary quantitative data creates unprecedented opportunities for studying poverty and evaluating poverty reduction programmes. At the same time, this expanding availability of secondary quantitative data presents methodological shortcomings that are underexplored.

Practice Paper 14 – Balancing Inclusiveness, Rigour and Feasibility: Insights from Participatory Impact Evaluations in Ghana and Vietnam

This paper by Adinda Van Hemelrijck and Irene Guijt explores how impact evaluation can live up to standards broader than statistical rigour in ways that address challenges of complexity and enable stakeholders to engage meaningfully.

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A Participatory Impact Assessment and Learning Approach (PIALA) was piloted to assess and debate the impacts on rural poverty of two government programmes in Vietnam and Ghana funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). We discuss the trade-offs between rigour, inclusiveness and feasibility encountered in these two pilots. Trade-offs occur in every impact evaluation aiming for more than reductionist rigour, but the pilots suggest that they can be reduced by building sufficient research and learning capacity.

Practice Paper 13 – Qualitative Comparative Analysis: A Valuable Approach to Add to the Evaluator’s ‘Toolbox’? Lessons from Recent Applications

Itad’s Katharina Welle and Florian Schatz explore Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in the Centre for Development Impact’s latest Practice Paper, and ask whether it is a valuable approach to add to the evaluator’s toolbox.

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QCA is part of a new generation of approaches that go beyond the standard counterfactual logic in assessing causality and impact, and Kathi and Florian explore three recent applications, as well as the potentials and pitfalls of applying such a method.

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