13.10.2020 - Causal Mechanisms in Program Evaluation
Causal mechanisms help us understand not only if a programme works, but how and why/why not.
Despite consensus on the importance of analyzing causal mechanisms, firsthand experience from practical application remains limited.
This special issue of New Directions for Evaluation moves beyond theoretical discussions and embraces a practical focus. It illustrates how evaluations can make use of recent innovations in case study methods (including several applications of Process Tracing and Realist Evaluation) and demonstrates new ways of opening the “black box” in observational and experimental designs.
The mechanism-based approaches presented in the chapters of this special issue are exemplified in various thematic fields such as citizen engagement, climate-resilient agriculture, and development volunteer programs.
The special issue is edited by Senior Evaluator at DEval Johannes Schmitt. The publication is part of DEval‘s research project on Causal Mechanisms in Complex Evaluations.