Randomised controlled trials, mixed methods and policy influence in international development – Symposium

Thinking out of the black box. A 3ie-LIDC Symposium
Date: 17:30 to 19:30 Monday, May 23rd 2011
Venue: John Snow Lecture Theatre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT

Professor Nancy Cartwright, Professor of Philosophy, London School of Economics
Professor Howard White, Executive Director, 3ie
Chair: Professor Jeff Waage, Director, LIDC

Randomised  Controlled  Trials  (RCTs)  have  moved  to  the  forefront  of  the development  agenda  to  assess  development  results  and  the  impact  of development  programs.  In  words  of  Esther  Duflo  –  one  of  the  strongest advocates of RCTs – RCTs allow us to know which development efforts help and which cause harm.

But  RCTs  are  not  without  their  critics,  with  questions  raised  about  their usefulness, both  to provide more substantive  lessons about  the program being evaluated and whether the findings can be generalized to other settings.

This symposium brings perspectives from the philosophy of science, and a mixed method approach to impact analysis, to this debate.

For more information contact: 3ieuk@3ieimpact.org

PS1: Nancy Cartwright wrote “Are RCTs the Gold Standard?” in 2007

PS2: The presentation by Howard White is now available here  – http://tinyurl.com/3dwlqwn but without audio


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