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Using Mixed Methods in Monitoring and Evaluation: Experiences from International Development’

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  • Michael Bamberger
  • Vijayendra Rao
  • Michael Woolcock

Abstract

This paper reviews the main challenges and opportunities for incorporating mixed method approaches into research and evaluation on the effectiveness and impacts of international development. It draws on the authors’ experience over several decades working in both academia and with a wide range of multilateral and bilateral development agencies, non-profit organisations and developing country governments on the evaluation of the effectiveness and impacts of development interventions. Development research is informed by current research trends in Northern countries, but it is often conducted within very distinct economic, political, cultural and organisational contexts. While certainly not unique to the international context, many development evaluations are subject to a range of budget, time, data, political and organisational constraints that tend to be more severe than those faced by researchers working in industrialised nations. Moreover, due to the more limited opportunities to conduct research in developing countries, individual studies or evaluations are often required to address a broader set of questions. So while a researcher in the US may be able to focus exclusively on a rigorous summative evaluation designed to address a limited range of questions on quantitative impacts, the same researcher evaluating a major development intervention in Latin America, Africa or Asia may be asked to address a wider range of summative and formative questions. We argue that the demand for multi-purpose evaluations in developing countries opens up opportunities for a broader application of mixed method approaches than is usually the case in ‘mainstream’ mixed method research. We hope that this paper will help readers to understand the unique challenges, and also the great

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  • Michael Bamberger & Vijayendra Rao & Michael Woolcock, 2009. "Using Mixed Methods in Monitoring and Evaluation: Experiences from International Development’," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 10709, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:10709
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. François Bourguignon & Maurizio Bussolo & Luiz A. Pereira da Silva, 2008. "The Impact of Macroeconomic Policies on Poverty and Income Distribution : Macro-Micro Evaluation Techniques and Tools," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6586.
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    3. Rao, Vijayendra & Gupta, Indrani & Jana, Smarajit, 2000. "Sex workers and the cost of safe sex - the compensating differential for condom use in Calcutta," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2334, The World Bank.
    4. Christopher Gibson & Michael Woolcock, 2007. "Empowerment, Deliberative Development and Local Level Politics in Indonesia: Participatory Projects as a Source of Countervailing Power," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 0807, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    5. Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
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    7. Lant Pritchett, 2002. "It pays to be ignorant: A simple political economy of rigorous program evaluation," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 251-269.
    8. Jha, Saumitra & Rao, Vijayendra & Woolcock, Michael, 2007. "Governance in the Gullies: Democratic Responsiveness and Leadership in Delhi's Slums," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 230-246, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Channing Arndt & Karl Pauw & James Thurlow, 2016. "The Economy-wide Impacts and Risks of Malawi's Farm Input Subsidy Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(3), pages 962-980.
    2. Rob Tulder & M. May Seitanidi & Andrew Crane & Stephen Brammer, 2016. "Enhancing the Impact of Cross-Sector Partnerships," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 1-17, April.
    3. Deval Desai & Michael Woolcock, 2012. "The politics of rule of law systems in developmental states: 'political settlements' as a basis for promoting effective justice institutions for marginalized groups," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series esid-008-12, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    4. Luo, Laura Pan & Liu, Lin, 2014. "Reflections on conducting evaluations for rural development interventions in China," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-8.
    5. Nadel, Sara & Pritchett, Lant, 2016. "Searching for the Devil in the Details: Learning about Development Program Design," Working Paper Series rwp16-041, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    6. Vinod Thomas & Xubei Luo, 2011. "Overlooked Links in the Results Chain," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2347.
    7. Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2012. "Quantitative analysis in social sciences: An brief introduction for non-economists," MPRA Paper 39216, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. De Hoop, Thomas & Van Kempen, Luuk & Linssen, Rik & Van Eerdewijk, Anouka, 2010. "Women's Autonomy and Subjective Well-Being in India: How Village Norms Shape the Impact of Self-Help Groups," MPRA Paper 25921, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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