Contribution Analysis provides a step-wise process of iterative reflection about the theory of change and the critical assumptions (or ‘causal hotspot’) within it, with information derived from a wide range of methods combined into an appropriate interlinked research design.
The webinar will introduce the approach, discuss strengths and weaknesses, and illustrate it with an example where various qualitative and quantitative approaches are combined in a mixed-method design.
Dr Giel Ton is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies and Director of the Centre for Development Impact. He specializes in the design of mixed-methods impact evaluations in agricultural value chains and private-sector development and applies Contribution Analysis as an overarching approach of theory-based evaluation. Contribution Analysis helps to identify the hot-spots for additional research needed to verify critical assumptions in the theory of change. He encourages the critical reflection on methods, anticipating the threats to validity to the type of inferences associated with a particular research design. He is particularly interested in research designs that integrate methods for pattern detection in data sets (e.g. regressions, qualitative comparative analysis) and in-depth causal explanation (e.g. process tracing, realist evaluation).