Realist analysis of testable hypotheses tests the program theory by developing a nuanced understanding of ‘What works for whom in what circumstances and in what respects, and how?’.
Realist analysis elicits and formalises the theories on what works for whom in what circumstances and in what respects, and how. These theories are then tested against the evidence, experts and project personnel.
The option involves identifying the ‘mechanism’, ‘context’, and ‘outcome pattern’ in each type of hypotheses:
- Mechanisms are the process of how subjects interpret and act upon the intervention stratagem.
- Context is the salient conditions of the intervention and may include place, systems of interpersonal and social relationships, and even to biology, technology, economic conditions etc.
- Outcome-patterns comprise the intended and unintended consequences of programmes, resulting from the activation of different mechanisms in different contexts.
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