In recent years, international development programmes have increasingly sought to address complex problems, and this has led to growing demand for "complexity-aware" approaches to monitoring and evaluation. One key area of this frontier is the family of approaches known as theory-based evaluation. This webinar will argue that there is a need for combining theory-based methods to improve evaluation practice and shed light on causal mechanisms.

3 December 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Speaker(s): Tom Aston

In recent years, international development programmes have increasingly sought to address complex problems, and this has led to growing demand for "complexity-aware" approaches to monitoring and evaluation. One key area of this frontier is the family of approaches known as theory-based evaluation. This webinar will argue that there is a need for combining theory-based methods to improve evaluation practice and shed light on causal mechanisms.

Drawing on recent lessons on comparative learning from six process tracing evaluations conducted between 2017 and 2020, this webinar will consider how realist evaluation can strengthen process tracing's approach to causal explanation by offering a sharper focus on context and demonstrating why it is so important to reflect on actors' motivation (or reasoning). The webinar will also show how process tracing can support realist evaluation to appraise the quality of mechanistic evidence in a new light, based on Bayesian logic and the legal concept of "probative value".

About the speaker

Tom Aston is an independent consultant specialising in theory-based and participatory evaluation methods. He has worked as a consultant for a number of international development organisations, including CARE, World Vision, Oxfam, the World Bank and the Overseas Development Institute. He has a PhD in Development Planning from University College London.

Location:
Microsoft Teams
United Kingdom
GB
Partner(s): Institute of Development Studies
Public - open to all