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  1. Contribution Analysis

    Approach

    Contribution Analysis is an approach for assessing causal questions and inferring causality in real-life program evaluations. It offers a step-by-step approach designed to help managers, researchers, and policymakers arrive at conclusions about the contribution their program has made (or is currently making) to particular outcomes. The essential value of contribution analysis is that it offers an approach designed to reduce uncertainty about the contribution the intervention is making to the observed results through an increased understanding of why the observed results have occurred (or not!) and the roles played by the intervention and other internal and external factors.

    Also Available In: Portugues, Español
  2. Outcome Mapping

    Synonyms: 
    OM
    Approach

    Outcome mapping (OM) is a methodology for planning, monitoring and evaluating development initiatives in order to bring about sustainable social change. As the name suggests, its niche is understanding outcomes; the so-called ‘missing-middle’ or ‘black box’ of results that emerge downstream from the initiative’s activities but upstream from longer-term economic, environmental, political or demographic changes.

    Also Available In: Español
  3. Qualitative Impact Assessment Protocol (QUIP)

    Synonyms: 
    QUIP
    Approach

    The QUIP sets out to generate differentiated evidence of impact based on narrative causal statements elicited directly from intended project beneficiaries without use of a control group. Evidence of attribution is sought through respondents’ own accounts of causal mechanisms linking X to Y alongside Z rather than by relying on statistical inference based on variable exposure to X. This narrative data is intended to complement quantitative evidence on changes in X, Y and Z obtained through routine project monitoring.

  4. Most Significant Change

    Synonyms: 
    MSC
    Approach

    The Most Significant Change (MSC) approach involves generating and analysing personal accounts of change and deciding which of these accounts is the most significant – and why.

  5. Collaborative Outcomes Reporting

    Synonyms: 
    COR, Particpatory Performance Story Reporting Technique

    Collaborative Outcomes Reporting (COR) is a participatory approach to impact evaluation based around a performance story that presents evidence of how a program has contributed to outcomes and impacts, that is then reviewed by both technical experts and program stakeholders, which may include community members.

  6. Realist Evaluation

    Realist evaluation is a form of theory-driven evaluation, but is set apart by its explicit philosophical underpinnings.

    Pawson and Tilley (1997) developed the first realist evaluation approach, although other interpretations have been developed since. Pawson and Tilley argued that in order to be useful for decision makers, evaluations need to identify ‘what works in which circumstances and for whom?’, rather than merely ‘does it work?. 

    The complete realist question is: “What works, for whom, in what respects, to what extent, in what contexts, and how?”. In order to answer that question, realist evaluators aim to identify the underlying generative mechanisms that explain ‘how’ the outcomes were caused and the influence of context. 

  7. Randomised Controlled Trial

    Synonyms: 
    RCT, Clinical Trial, Randomized Controlled Trial, Randomized Impact Evaluations

    Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), or randomised impact evaluations, are a type of impact evaluation which uses randomised access to social programmes as a means of limiting bias and generating an internally valid impact estimate.

  8. Utilization-Focused Evaluation

    Synonyms: 
    Use-focused evaluation, Utilisation Focused Evaluation, Utilization Focused Evaluation
    Approach

    Utilization-Focused Evaluation (UFE), developed by Michael Quinn Patton, is an approach based on the principle that an evaluation should be judged on its usefulness to its intended users.  Therefore evaluations should be planned and conducted in ways that enhance the likely utilization of both the findings and of the process itself to inform decisions and improve performance.

  9. Multiple Lines and Levels of Evidence

    Synonyms: 
    MLLE
    Approach

    Multiple Lines and Levels of Evidence (MLLE) reviews the evidence for a causal relationship between an intervention and observed impacts in terms of its strength, consistency, specificity, temporality, coherence with other accepted evidence, plausibility, and analogy with similar interventions. 

  10. Outcome Harvesting

    Outcome Harvesting collects (“harvests”) evidence of what has changed (“outcomes”) and, then, working backwards, determines whether and how an intervention has contributed to these changes.

    Outcome Harvesting has proven to be especially useful in complex situations when it is not possible to define concretely most of what an intervention aims to achieve, or even, what specific actions will be taken over a multi-year period.

    Also Available In: Portugues, Español

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