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Journal Article

IDS Bulletin Vol. 39 Nos. 1

Of Probits and Participation: The Use of Mixed Methods in Quantitative Impact Evaluation

Published on 1 March 2008

Techniques for rigorous quantitative impact evaluation are increasingly being brought to bear on development interventions – including, as the articles in this collection show, by official development agencies.

The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank has been a committed advocate of this move to greater rigour, but with its own mantra of ‘Rigorous and Relevant’, which is spelled out more fully as carrying out well-contextualised, policyrelevant studies which adopt best practice quantitative approaches.

There are several approaches to ensuring that a study is well-contextualised and policy-relevant. These include (1) adopting a theory-based evaluation approach, as proposed by Weiss (1998) and illustrated in the studies presented in Carvalho and White (2004), and White and Masset (2007); (2) working with programme implementers to ensure access to data and addressing questions of interest to them – something also well illustrated in de Kemp’s article on sector evaluations by the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) in The Netherlands (de Kemp, this volume); and (3) having a good grasp of study context by adopting a mixed methods approach. This article addresses the last of these, providing examples of how such an approach has strengthened IEG’s impact evaluation work.

Part 2 of the article briefly outlines what constitutes a mixed methods approach. The subsequent section provides several cases illustrating the contribution of the qualitative side of mixed methods. Part 4 draws out some conclusions for practitioners.

Related Content

This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 39.1 (2008) Of Probits and Participation: The Use of Mixed Methods in Quantitative Impact Evaluation

Cite this publication

White, H. (2008) Of Probits and Participation: The Use of Mixed Methods in Quantitative Impact Evaluation. IDS Bulletin 39(1): 98-109

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Authors

Howard White

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies
authors
White, Howard
doi
10.1111/j.1759-5436.2008.tb00436.x

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