Julia Laidlaw

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Contributed by this member




  • In many research contexts, sampling simply involves asking for volunteers.
  • Vote counting is a simple but limited method for synthesizing evidence from multiple evaluations and involves comparing the number of positive studies (studies showing benefit) with the number of negative studies (studies showing harm).
  • A network diagram uses a set of nodes and connecting lines to display of how people (or other elements) in a network are connected. It is usually a product of social network analysis.
  • Stacked graphs depict items stacked one on top (column) of the other or side-by-side (bar), differentiated by coloured bars or strips.
  • Intermediate outcomes are identified in a logical model before the final impact. 
  • Geo-tagging is the process of adding geographic information about digital content, within “metadata” tags - including latitude and longitude coordinates, place names and/or other positional data.
  • Best evidence synthesis is a synthesis that, like a realist synthesis, draws on a wide range of evidence (including single case studies) and explores the impact of context.
  • Logs, journals and diaries are monitoring tools for recording data over a long period of time.
  • A realist synthesis is the synthesis of a wide range of evidence that seeks to identify underlying causal mechanisms and explore how they work under what conditions, answering the question "what works for whom under what circumstances?" rat
  • A matrix chart shows relationships between two or more variables in a data set in grid format.
  • Process tracing is a case-based approach to causal inference which focuses on the use of clues within a case (causal-process observations, CPOs) to adjudicate between alternative possible explanations. 
  • The Six Thinking Hats method encourages participants to cycle through six different ways of thinking, using the metaphor of wearing different conceptual “hats”.
  • Value for money is a term used in different ways, including as a synonym for cost-effectiveness, and as systematic approach to considering these issues throughout planning and implementation, not only in evaluation.


  • An organisational assessment is a systematic process for obtaining valid information about the performance of an organisation and the factors that affect performance. It differs from other types of evaluations because the assessment focuses on the organisation as the primary unit of analysis.