How Useful Are RCTs in Evaluating Transparency and Accountability Projects ?

Posted on 24 September, 2015 – 4:32 PM
by LEAVY, J., IDS Research, Evidence and Learning Working Paper, Issue 1, September 2014. 37 pages. Available as pdf
Contents
List of abbreviations iv
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Objectives of this review 2
2 Impact evaluation and RCTs 4
2.1 Impact evaluation definitions 4
2.1.1 Causality and the counterfactual 4
2.2 Strengths and conditions of RCTs 5
3 T&A initiatives 6
3.1 What are ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’? 6
3.2 Characteristics of T&A initiatives 7
3.2.1 Technology for T&A 8
3.3 Measuring (the impact of) T&A 9
4 RCT evaluation of T&A initiatives 10
4.1 What do we already know? 10
4.2 Implications for evaluation design 12
5 How effective are RCTs in measuring the impact of T&A programmes? 14
5.1 Analytical framework for assessing RCTs in IE of T&A initiatives 14
5.2 Search methods 15
5.3 The studies 16
5.4 Analysis 18
5.4.1 Design 18
5.4.2 Contribution 20
5.4.3 Explanation 20
5.4.4 Effects 22
5.5 Summary 25
6 Conclusion 26
References 28
Rick Davies comment: I liked the systematic way in which the author reviewed the different aspects of 15 relevant RCTs, as documented in section 5. The Conclusions section was balanced and pragmatic
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