CEDIL Methods Working Papers
The CEDIL Methods Working Paper Series offers innovative research methods to develop impact evaluation and evidence synthesis work in low- and middle-income countries. The papers in this series also advance the understanding of how research methods and theoretical frameworks can be applied for addressing enduring and complex development challenges in low- and middle-income countries.
Timely evaluation in international development
A central issue in impact evaluation is supporting quick data collection and analyses while an intervention is being rolled out to assist urgent decision-making or update knowledge of what works. This paper reviews approaches to timely evaluation that balance speed with rigour of analysis and are often combined with more standard evaluation methods. We review approaches to timely evaluation from different traditions and combine them in a conceptual framework that describes their goals, speed, and how they address complexity. Each method is paired with a case study to illustrate its value for international development evaluation research.
Evaluating complex interventions in international development
Edoardo Masset, Som Shrestha and Matt Juden
While complex interventions are very common in international development, they are rarely subject to rigorous evaluations. This paper reviews promising methods for the evaluation of complex interventions that are new or have been used in a limited way. It offers a taxonomy of complex interventions in international development and draws on literature to discuss several methods that can be used to evaluate these interventions.
The strategic use of evidence and gap maps to build evidence architecture
Mapping is an evidence synthesis approach that aims to describe what research evidence is available that is relevant to a particular research or policy question. It has emerged as an important way to make evidence available to decision-makers. This paper introduces evidence and gap maps and draws on five case studies to illustrate how they can be used strategically to build evidence architecture.
Engaging stakeholders with evidence and uncertainty: developing a toolkit
Sandy Oliver, Laurenz Langer, Promise Nduku, Hayley Umayam, Kate Conroy, Charlotte Maugham, Tamsin Bradley, Mukdarut Bangpan, Dylan Kneale, Chris Roche
This paper offers a new framework that helps choose appropriate stakeholder engagement methods while conducting research & supporting decision-making. The framework provides the foundation for a toolkit that highlights major differences in stakeholder engagement, illustrates pathways for choosing appropriate methods, signposts evidence and practical tools, and guidance for identifying and understanding stakeholders and their relationships.
The Science in the middle: Middle level theory in international development evaluation
This paper discusses three defining principles of how middle level theorising generates transferable knowledge across disciplines and settings, and uses examples to show the potential of the method in improving international development programmes.
Using big data for evaluating development outcomes: a systematic map
Francis Rathinam, Sayak Khatua, Zeba Siddiqui, Manya Malik, Pallavi Duggal, Samantha Watson and Xavier Vollenweider
This paper discusses the methodological, ethical and practical constraints relating to the use of big data for measuring and evaluating development outcomes. The paper presents the analysis of a systematic gap map developed by 3ie. The map included 437 studies, comprising impact evaluations, systematic reviews and big data measurement studies.