CLOSED I-a: Qualitative Research Methods for Evaluation
From focus group discussions and accountability mechanisms to the daily interactions of field staff with beneficiaries, development agencies are awash with qualitative data. Growing recognition of how qualitative methods can strengthen programme impact and explain how and why change is happening, is putting pressure on development practitioners to adopt a ‘qualitative research approach’ in their monitoring, evaluation, and learning work.
What constitutes qualitative data, and how do you best generate it? For what purposes do you need to generate qualitative data? How methodological do you have to be to generate qualitative information that is ‘good enough’ to be called ‘evidence’?
It is the aim of this workshop to equip participants with the theoretical knowledge to answer these questions and the practical skills to use different qualitative methods in their monitoring and evaluation work. The teaching approach will be dialogic and with problem-based learning exercises.
The workshop runs over 2.5 days and will be structured in two parts.
- Part 1 introduces participants to qualitative monitoring and evaluation. Participants will become familiar with some basic principles of qualitative evaluation and learn how to ‘think qualitatively’. Participants will learn how qualitative methods can be integrated into various stages of the programme cycle, and discover how this forms the foundation for improving the impact, quality, and accountability of development programmes. As introducing qualitative methods require careful and early planning, Part 1 also covers some of the considerations participants need to be aware of in order to design and plan qualitative monitoring and evaluation. Part 1 will be covered in 1 day.
- In Part 2, participants will be introduced to a range of qualitative methods, techniques and approaches. This includes individual interviews, focus group discussions, participant observation, participatory data collection methods and Photovoice. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each of methods, as well as issues relating to sampling, recruitment and ethics. Part 2 will be covered over 1.5 days.
At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
- Design, plan and conduct evaluations using different qualitative methods;
- Explain how qualitative methods can be integrated into development programme cycles;
- Decide what qualitative method(s) may be relevant in different evaluation contexts;
- Account for the possibilities and limitations of qualitative evaluation for the production of evidence and findings.
Evaluators (as in the Program), applied social scientists, policy makers at the beginning of their careers, NGO practitioners.
This is an introductory workshop, and no previous experience is required.
- Basic knowledge of development programme monitoring, evaluation, learning and accountability;
- Familiarity with social science research.