EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Using Case Studies to Explore the External Validity of 'Complex' Development Interventions

Michael Woolcock

Working Paper Series from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government

Abstract: Rising standards for accurately inferring the impact of development projects has not been matched by equivalently rigorous procedures for guiding decisions about whether and how similar results might be expected elsewhere. These 'external validity' concerns are especially pressing for 'complex' development interventions, in which the explicit purpose is often to adapt projects to local contextual realities and where high quality implementation is paramount to success. A basic analytical framework is provided for assessing the external validity of complex development interventions. It argues for deploying case studies to better identify the conditions under which diverse outcomes are observed, focusing in particular on the salience of contextual idiosyncrasies, implementation capabilities and trajectories of change. Upholding the canonical methodological principle that questions should guide methods, not vice versa, is required if a truly rigorous basis for generalizing claims about likely impact across time, groups, contexts and scales of operation is to be discerned for different kinds of development interventions.

JEL-codes: B40 O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-neu and nep-ppm
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (32) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/getFile.aspx?Id=1007

Related works:
Working Paper: Using Case Studies to Explore the External Validity of ‘Complex’ Development Interventions (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Using Case Studies to Explore the External Validity of 'Complex' Development Interventions (2013) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp13-048

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Paper Series from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2024-03-02
Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp13-048