Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World

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(38) Mixed Methods in International Development Evaluation: Fad or Reasonable Strategy?

Session Number: 38
Track: Professional Development Workshops
Session Type: Professional Development Workshops
Workshop Lead Presenter: Donna M Mertens [Independent Consultant]
Other Workshop Presenter: Michele Tarsilla [Independent Evaluator and Capacity Development Specialist - Independent Evaluation Consultant ]
Time: Nov 11, 2015 (08:00 AM - 11:00 AM)
Room: Buckingham

Audience Level: Intermediate
Learning Outcomes: • Understand the key assumptions and purposes associated with the use of quantitative and qualitative methods in international development evaluations;
• Identify the limitations characterizing the separate use of quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods and understand the added value of combining methods in order to address evaluation questions more effectively
• Understand the logistical and cultural criteria that ought to be consider before mixing methods
• Use mixed method not only during the data collection phase but also during the hypothesis development, analysis and interpretation phases
• Identify the different types of method combinations
• Identify best practices in mixing methods and adopt strategies to address any possible operational challenges associated with the use of MM in international development evaluation
Facilitation Experience: In 2014, Dr. Donna M. Mertens taught a similar workshop at AEA and for the past 20 years across several countries, and the evaluation ratings were very positive. For 31 years, Dr. Merten taught program evaluation to deaf and hearing graduate students as a Professor in the Department of Education at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. In 2007, she was honored with the Most Distinguished Faculty Award at Gallaudet, an award based on nominations from former and current students. The majority of her students were professionals with full time positions; therefore, she adapted her teaching style to encourage application of ideas within the student's work venue. In addition, she taught portions of this workshop in various settings, including the United Nations' UNIFEM workshops in South Africa, the AEA/Duquesne Graduate Education Diversity Internship Program, the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute, the National Center on Low Incidence Disabilities, and Wisconsin's NSF Research Evaluation and Technical Assistance (RETA) Adding Value Conference. She also taught a similar workshop at Cambridge University's International Conference on Mixed Methods, originally in 2006 and has been invited back to teach it for 6 more years. She taught an extended version of this workshop over 5 days for faculty at the North West University in South Africa. Overall, evaluative feedback indicates a high level of satisfaction. She was awarded a Peer 2 Peer grant through EvalPartners and AEA to teach a similar workshop in Kyrgyzstan in 2014 and to arrange a study tour to the US for evaluators from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in 2015.

Dr. Tarsilla has designed and implemented mixed methods evaluation in over 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America for the UN, the World Bank and a variety of other agencies and governments. Building on his gender-responsive and participatory evaluation work as well his methodological versatility, he has demonstrated a superior understanding of adult learning methodologies applied to evaluation across a variety of sectors and cultural contexts as well as among very diverse audiences (from in-country government officials to NGOs as well as community-based organizations). Over the last three years, Dr. Tarsilla has designed and delivered nearly 20 evaluation workshops (one week and two weeks in duration) aimed at program managers and evaluation specialists at USAID, the State Department and Millennium Challenge Corporation (both at HQ and overseas missions). Through his facilitation endeavors and transformative research work, Dr. Tarsilla has been especially focused on enhancing his clients' capacity to track and measure their performance effectively as well as to foster their utilization of evaluation findings and their formulation of evidence-informed and right-based policies. In doing so, Dr. Tarsilla has always made sure to combine his expertise with clarity, compassion, cultural responsiveness, enthusiasm, ethical responsibility and humor. A Fulbright Scholar at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a Doctor in Interdisciplinary Evaluation from Western Michigan University, Michele has been receiving and delivering formal evaluation training in an academic setting for over 10 years. More recently, he has successfully taught M&E workshops at Georgetown University and University of Colorado-Bolder.

Session Abstract:  The use of mixed methods (MM) in international development evaluation remains a hot topic that merits in-depth exploration. Based on the evidence-based adult learning methodologies, as well as the extensive use of participatory approaches, this workshop will allow you to enhance your theoretical understanding and operational application of mixed methods in international development evaluation. In an effort to foster active learner participation, solution-centered, collaborative learning and self-efficacy, this workshop is designed to enhance your knowledge about of mixed methods in response to specific evaluation questions. The session will go in-depth about different mixed method designs and how to apply this knowledge to scenarios from international development projects.


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Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 6, 2015. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. Fax request to (202) 367-2173. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 6, 2015 all sales are final.