CEDIL Methods Briefs

CEDIL Methods Briefs

This brief series offers plain-language guidance notes or summaries based on the CEDIL papers. They contribute to advancing the understanding on how innovative methods or theoretical frameworks can be applied by using a clear, step-by-step approach.

Latest publication 

Evidence and gap maps: Using maps to support evidence-based development

In the latest CEDIL Methods Brief, Howard White, Research Director, CEDIL, describes what evidence and gap maps are, what sort of evidence is being mapped, and the various ways in which these maps are being used and how you can commission one. Read more here.



Engaging stakeholders to co-design rigorous and relevant research and evaluation

There are many methods for engaging various stakeholders in co-designing rigorous and relevant research and evaluation. But it is not always clear which methods suit different circumstances and contexts. This brief takes a simple, step-by-step approach to guide researchers in considering the various options for engaging stakeholders in the research process. Read more here.

Explaining what works: using causal chain analysis in systematic reviews

By incorporating causal chain analysis, a systematic review moves beyond the question of ‘does it work?’ to ‘why does it work, for whom, under what circumstances and at what cost?’. This CEDIL Methods Brief explains what causal chain analysis is, the benefits of carrying this out and illustrates its application by using the example of a systematic review on farmer field schools. Read more here.

Combining economic modelling and randomised controlled trials: An unexploited synergy

This CEDIL Methods Brief uses three examples to offer tips on the application of modelling to evaluate development interventions and explore various policy questions. It shows that models and experiments should be seen as complementary, rather than as alternative approaches. Read more here.

Using big data for impact evaluations

This CEDIL Methods Brief takes a step-by-step, practical approach to guide researchers designing impact evaluations based on big data. This brief is based on the CEDIL Methods Working Paper on ‘Using big data for evaluating development outcomes: a systematic map’. Read more here.

Using middle-level theory to improve programme and evaluation design

This brief takes a practical, how-to approach in outlining ten steps for building a middle-level theory of change. Download the brief.