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.
When time is of the essence: Timely evaluations in international development evaluation
Timely evaluations produce results when they are needed to inform decision making while using appropriate, rigorous designs. While traditionally evaluations are carried out at the end of a programme, this brief explores methods for evaluation during the course of a programme. Such approaches are important for informing decisions on project design for which information is needed in a timely manner. Timely evaluations can be used when trying out new intervention approaches, when working in a new context, or when the context is rapidly changing.
Evaluating complex interventions: What are appropriate methods?
In this CEDIL Methods brief, we identify four types of complex development interventions: long causal chain interventions, multicomponent interventions, portfolio interventions, and system-level interventions. These interventions are characterised by multiple activities, multiple outcomes, multiple components, a high level of interconnectedness, and non-linear outcomes.
Evidence and gap maps: Using maps to support evidence-based development
In this 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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.