The complex evaluation framework
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The complex evaluation framework. Simple projects, complicated programs and complex development interventions. country-led planning and evaluation Non linear Many components or services Often covers whole country Multiple and broad objectives

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The complex evaluation framework

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The complex evaluation framework

The complex evaluation framework


Simple projects complicated programs and complex development interventions

Simple projects, complicated programs and complex development interventions

  • country-led planning and evaluation

  • Non linear

  • Many components or services

  • Often covers whole country

  • Multiple and broad objectives

  • May provide budget support with no clear definition of scope or services

  • multiple donors and agencies

  • context is critical

Large, complex

Complex interventions

  • May include a number of projects and wider scope

  • Often involves several blueprint approaches

  • Defined objectives but often broader and less precise and harder to measure

  • Often not time-bound

  • Context important

  • multiple donors and national agencies

Complicated programs

Simple projects

Small, simple

  • “blue print” producing standardized product

  • relatively linear

  • Limited number of services

  • Time-bound

  • defined and often small target population

  • Defined objectives


The special challenges of assessing outcomes for complex programs

The Special Challenges of Assessing Outcomes for Complex Programs

  • Most conventional impact evaluation designs cannot be applied to evaluating complex programs

  • No clearly defined activities or objectives

    • General budget and technical support integrated into broader government programs

    • Multiple activities

    • Target populations not clearly defined

    • Time-lines may not be clearly defined


Special challenges continued

Special challenges continued

  • Multiple actors

  • No baseline data

  • Difficult to define a conventional comparison group


Alternative approaches for defining the counterfactual for complex interventions

Alternative approaches for defining the counterfactual for complex interventions

1. Theory driven evaluation

3. Quantitative approaches

  • Qualitative approaches

  • Mixed method designs

  • Rating scales

  • Integrated strategies for strengthening the evaluation designs


The complex evaluation framework

STRATEGIES FOR EVALUATING COMPLEX PROGRAMS

  • Counterfactual designs

  • Attribution analysis

  • Contribution analysis

  • Substitution analysis

Estimating impacts

The value-added of agency X

Theory-based approaches

Net increase in resources for a program

Mixed method designs

  • strengthening alternative counterfactuals

  • “Unpacking complex programs”

  • Portfolio analysis

  • Reconstructing baseline data

  • Creative use of secondary data

  • Secondary data

  • Triangulation

Qualitative approaches

Quantitative approaches

Rating scales


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