German Institute for Development Evaluation
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23.10.2018 - The use of causal mechanisms in evaluations

Analysing causal mechanisms in evaluations helps us understand how and why complex programmes work. Unpacking the underlying mechanisms enables us to open the ‘black box’ and provide more robust findings about the effectiveness of development programmes.

Dr Johannes Schmitt (DEval) facilitated a well-received panel at the EES conference in Thessaloniki on this subject. Dr Martin Bruder (DEval), Dr Estelle Rosine Raimondo (IEG), Dr Bénédict Wauters (Flemish ministry of employment and social economy), and Stefano D’Errico (iied) presented their experiences with causal mechanisms and elaborated on advantages and limits of different approaches with the discussant Dr Barbara Befani (University of Surrey) and the audience. The panel is part of DEval’s ongoing research project on the use of causal mechanism in complex evaluations. Led by Johannes Schmitt, the project aims at promoting a better understanding of how to use causal mechanisms in complex evaluations. Committed to facilitate methodological discussions and exchange, the project strives to bring together practical experiences with different causal mechanism approaches in a Special Issue publication by 2019.

Find more information on DEval’s research project on causal mechanisms here

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