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Achieving high-quality impact evaluation design through mixed methods: the case of infrastructure

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  • Howard White

Abstract

A good-quality impact evaluation is based on an analysis of the theory of change for the intervention. Analysis of different parts of this causal chain, and the underlying assumptions, necessarily requires use of a variety of research methods. The method should fit the question, not the other way round. The challenge is to genuinely mix these methods rather than conduct parallel studies. The analysis needs to be rooted in a good understanding of context, which may come from anthropology or political science and political economy. Qualitative information sheds light on factors behind programme placement and self-selection. A key contribution from other disciplines is a proper understanding of the nature and distribution of benefits, enabling an impact evaluation design that captures the full range of benefits and socially-mediated impact heterogeneity.

Suggested Citation

  • Howard White, 2011. "Achieving high-quality impact evaluation design through mixed methods: the case of infrastructure," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 131-144.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevef:v:3:y:2011:i:1:p:131-144
    DOI: 10.1080/19439342.2010.547588
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carvalho, S. & White, H., 1997. "Combining the Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to Poverty Measurement and Analysis. The Practice and the Potential," Papers 366, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    2. Javier Escobal & Carmen Ponce, 2003. "The benefits of rural roads. Enhancing income opportunities for the rural poor," Documentos de Investigación dt40b, Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE).
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    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:173-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Sonali Senaratna Sellamuttu & Takeshi Aida & Ryuji Kasahara & Yasuyuki Sawada & Deeptha Wijerathna, 2014. "How Access to Irrigation Influences Poverty and Livelihoods: A Case Study from Sri Lanka," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(5), pages 748-768, May.
    3. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:481-497 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Senaratna Sellamuttu, Sonali, 2013. "How access to irrigation influences poverty and livelihoods: a case study from Sri Lanka. Impact assessment of infrastructure projects on poverty reduction," IWMI Working Papers H045795, International Water Management Institute.
    5. Ton, Giel & Klerkx, Laurens & de Grip, Karin & Rau, Marie-Luise, 2015. "Innovation grants to smallholder farmers: Revisiting the key assumptions in the impact pathways," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 9-23.

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