Qualitative Methods for Evaluation: Moving from Afterthought to Forethought

Session Number: 2848
Track: Qualitative Methods
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Teaching evaluation
Session Chair: Jessica Fehringer [Senior Technical Specialist - Evaluation and Gender - MEASURE Evaluation]
Presenter 1: Carolina Mejia [M&E/Gender Technical Advisor - University of North Carolina]
Presenter 2: Jessica Fehringer [Senior Technical Specialist - Evaluation and Gender - MEASURE Evaluation]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Carolina Mejia [M&E/Gender Technical Advisor - University of North Carolina]
Time: Nov 11, 2017 (10:15 AM - 11:00 AM)
Room: Virginia B

Abstract 1 Title: Innovative Content for a Qualitative Methods Short-Course for Evaluation
Presentation Abstract 1:

The short-course on qualitative methods in evaluation utilizes innovative course content, and an interactive structure and teaching methodology. The content includes an initial session on mapping the paradigm, as a way to understand and compare the four major philosophical foundations of evaluation (positivist, constructivist/interpretivist, critical/emancipatory, pragmatic). Other dynamic sessions focus on trustworthiness, appropriate use of mixed methods for evaluation, sampling design, gender-related considerations, and the emergent nature of qualitative methods and how to address this among those with a positivist paradigm. Teaching methods include facilitated discussion, presentations, storytelling, group work, debates, and thematic analysis. Woven throughout the course are case studies from various regions of the world on a variety of topics. This session will provide an overview of the course content.

Presentation 1 Other Authors: Liz Archer, Phyllis Dako-Gyeke, Pilar Torres, Liz Millar, Hemali Kulatilaka, Jessica Fehringer
Abstract 2 Title: Learning as Evaluators and Trainers: The Development of a Short-Course in Intermediate Qualitative Methods in Evaluation
Presentation Abstract 2:

The short course on intermediate qualitative evaluation methods was designed and taught by experienced trainers from several countries, professions, and disciplinary backgrounds.  It was tested at a training-of-trainers workshop and then piloted with monitoring and evaluation professionals. Group discussions with trainers and participants revealed how some of the key challenges were experienced and addressed in the development process. Challenges included: limited timing and appropriate sequencing of the sessions, balancing theory and practical content, providing engaging sessions, and incorporating considerations related to gender, culture, and language. In exploring these challenges, the presenter will discuss the diverse approaches used by the course trainers/developers. Additionally, the presenter will engage the audience in discussion by providing examples from the case studies and group activities used throughout the course.

Presentation 2 Other Authors: Phyllis Dako-Gyeke, Liz Archer, Sunil George, Hemali Kulatilaka, Liz Millar, Emily Bobrow
Theme: Learning to Enhance Evaluation
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Many evaluations add in a qualitative component as an afterthought and often conduct qualitative data collection and analysis without staff adequately trained in qualitative methods. To address this challenge, MEASURE Evaluation and the Global Evaluation and Monitoring Network for Health (GEMNet-Health), through a collaborative process, developed a 40-hour short course on qualitative evaluation methods for professionals in developing countries. The draft course was designed for evaluators who have learned the basics of qualitative data collection, and who have had some exposure to data collection, analysis and use of qualitative methods. Content is tailored to address issues faced by evaluators in developing countries. Presentations in this session will highlight innovative content at the intermediate level and will share experiences addressing challenges from working with teams of diverse trainers and participants.