Survivor of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) walks through a livelihood project site in Anahayway village in Leyte province, Philippines Survivor of typhoon Haiyan walks through a livelihood project site in Anahayway village in Leyte province, Philippines © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

Specialist short course

POverty-focused mixed methods research and evaluation online course

Mixed methods research and evaluation: addressing poverty and inequality in a complex, fast-changing world.

The world today is increasingly complex amidst COVID-19, climate change, conflict, and rapidly changing economies. It needs holistic methodologies to address this complexity to reduce global inequities.

This course – taught by highly experienced professionals in Bangladesh, the UK, and Zambia – helps you understand, design and implement mixed methods research and evaluations amidst contexts of rapid change.

Online course aims

  • To improve your understanding and sound application of multi-layered, mixed methods data collection and analysis to examine poverty and inequality reduction.
  • To enable you to use mixed methods data for more holistic evaluations of policy and programming, and to deepen knowledge on less visible drivers of poverty in complex, rapidly changing contexts.

Who should attend this IDS course?

  • Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods researchers
  • Donors and programme designers
  • Knowledge management staff
  • Civil society practitioners
  • Government officials
  • Evaluators
  • Masters and PhD students studying relevant subjects
  • Policy analysts and advisers

This list is by no means exhaustive. If you want to find out if this online course is for relevant to you, contact our dedicated short courses team with any queries.

How you'll learn

Our online course is designed with busy international development professionals and practitioners in mind. It combines live lectures, webinars, readings, case studies and group work.

It will run over four weeks on Wednesdays in April 2024, with specific webinar times to be confirmed. Participation in the course (during and outside of the real-time sessions) will require approximately 4-5 hours of your time per week, which includes 2-3 hours per week of live sessions.

There will be a pre-course induction to introduce the digital learning platform and help you with any technical queries before the course beings. This can be done flexibly at your own time before the the course commences.

Each week will involve a webinar with an interactive presentation and discussion from highly experienced mixed methods researchers and practitioners from institutions based in the Global South and the Global North. The outline of the course curriculum is presented below:

Week 1: Theory and concepts of poverty and inequality, linked to underlying methods of analysis

  • Clarity on key terms and concepts
  • Individualist and structural theories and frameworks, and overview of how they are operationalised in data collection and analysis
  • Change-based conceptualizations: e.g. poverty and inequality dynamics

Week 2: Methods overview

  • Summarize quantitative methodologies for understanding and evaluating poverty and inequality outcomes, dynamics and correlates
  • Present qualitative methodologies to distinguish proximate and deeper causes of poverty and inequality, and trace sequence of events, strategies, processes explaining different outcomes
  • Discussion of strengths and weaknesses of these methods, and interrogating the potential for mixed methods research for strengthening causal claims

Week 3: Designing and analysing mixed methods research amidst rapid change

  • Reviewing the existing data landscape, both quantitative and qualitative, including cross- and within-country databases, indicators, indices, and online repositories that could be innovatively combined
  • Data collection and analysis: outlining forms of flexible iteration and sequencing through mixed methods research
  • Working through research examples based on actual poverty/inequality studies
  • Discuss the advantages, challenges encountered, lessons learnt

Week 4: Applications for poverty and inequality evaluations amidst rapid change

  • Working through a programme evaluation example
  • Working through modified tools for life history and other interviews to address single issues of current relevance (e.g. Covid policy).
  • Deriving policy/programme implications from mixed methods evaluations

If you have further queries about the content of our Mixed Methods short course, please contact our short courses team.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, a successful participant will be able to:

  • Introduce to researchers the range of qualitative and quantitative methods on poverty and critically assess their relative merits
  • Combine quantitative and qualitative methods in the design of mixed methods research and evaluations on (monetary and multidimensional) poverty and inequality
  • Analyse mixed methods data on poverty and inequality (dynamics) to provide policy-relevant advice on leaving no one behind, including in complex, rapidly changing contexts
  • Critically assess the strength of mixed methods research and evaluations

Why study this course with IDS?

  • Our course facilitators for “Mixed methods research and evaluation: addressing poverty and inequality in a complex, fast-changing world” and are specialist experts on the topic, based in institutions in Bangladesh, Zambia, and the UK.
  • This course features Joseph Simbaya, Director of the Institute of Economic and Social Research at the University of Zambia. Joseph holds a PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands and has over 20 years of experience of teaching, training and mixed methods research focused on poverty, crises, gender, and education.
  • Lopita Huq will be joining us as a guest facilitator. Lopita is a Research Fellow at BRAC Institute of Governance and Development in Bangladesh. She has been a central part of mixed methods research projects on poverty and inequality, including links to norms around women’s work, education and adolescence. She is trained in cultural anthropology at the New School for Social Research, USA and political studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.
  • Lucia da Corta, Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute (ODI) will be joining us as a guest facilitator. Lucia studied at the University of Oxford before moving to the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network to design and teach qualitative methods for research and evaluations on poverty and inequality. She has over two decades of field research experience in countries throughout Africa and South Asia.
  • Our facilitators are best-placed to provide the latest thinking from the forefront of mixed methods research and evaluations that are contextually-rich and reflect periods of rapid change.
  • The course is interactive and will allow time for peer knowledge sharing and ideas generation in discussion groups comprised of professionals and practitioners in international development.
  • Learn with the number 1 ranking institute in the world for development studies – ensuring the highest quality of teaching and impact, as well as a range of international development research.
  • IDS’ partnerships ensure our research has real-world impact. This means that our courses are designed to be applied and implemented in practical settings. This guarantees that you will acquire solutions to your organisation’s challenges that can be implemented practically.

Key information

From 2 April 2025 until 30 April 2025

Apply now

Secure your place on this course

Complete the online application form

Course facilitators

Vidya Diwakar

Deputy Director, Chronic Poverty Advisory Network; Research Fellow, IDS

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