Tiina Pasanen's blog
In this guest blog post, Tiina Pasanen, from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), lays out four key ideas to keep in mind when designing an M&E framework for a policy research project
Tiina Pasanen is a Research Officer for the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) Programme at the Overseas Development Programme (ODI). In this blog, Tiina shares her top three realist ‘take-aways’ from the 1st International Conference on Realist Approaches to Evaluation and reflects on when or how realist evaluation may be most useful.
In our third blog on mixed methods in evaluation, Tiina Pasanen from ODI focusses in on impact evaluations (IEs) – a specific type of evaluation with a lot of attention in international development right now, with hundreds being conducted every year. The clear majority of them are based on quantitative data and econometric analysis. There is much talk about the importance of combining methods to triangulate results and to better understand why something works, but in reality these mixed methods IE designs are still rare and are often failing to provide enough information for readers to follow and assess what has been done and why. As the number of mixed methods IEs is likely to grow in the next few years, should there be minimum standards as to what constitutes as a mixed methods design?
It is neither relevant nor useful to either only criticise randomised control trials (RCT) or treat them as the only choice for rigorous impact evaluation (IE). We need to look for other approaches and methods that can contribute to causal inference and systematically link observed effects to causes as well as extend what we mean by rigorous IE.