C4D: Synthesise

Synthesise is one of the seven clusters of R,M&E tasks in the Rainbow Framework. These tasks involve bringing together data and evidence into an overall conclusion and judgement.

There are three tasks associated with Synthesise. These tasks include C4D specific methods, advice and resources on bringing together data and findings.

In this section

  • Studies and evaluations must, in the end, make evaluative judgments. To do that, there needs to be a process of drawing together data and findings (often from descriptive data and causal analysis); and systematic synthesis and conclusions
  • There are often questions beyond a single program or initiative, such as “Do these types of interventions work?” or “For whom, in what ways and under what circumstances do they work?” Answering these kinds of questions means locating the evidence, assessing the quality and relevance (and deciding whether or not to include it), extracting the relevant information, and synthesising it.
  • An evaluation usually involves some kind of generalisation of the findings to put forward analysis that predicts how the findings of one initiative might relate to future programs, other places and contexts, or other groups of people. Often it is assumed that statistical generalisation is the only way to generalise, but there are a range of options for undertaking this task.