Workshop: Case Studies in Development Evaluation: Validity, Generalisation and Learning

Venue: University of Copenhagen
Date: May 21-23, 2012
Invitation and Call for Papers to International Workshop
Centre for Social Science Development Research

The Evaluation Department of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centre for Social Science Development Research at Institute of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen are pleased to invite you to submit an abstract (preparatory to a full paper) to an International Workshop, which will focus on methodological and practical considerations when using case studies in evaluations of development. The workshop will be organised in collaboration with the journal Evaluation:the international journal of theory, research and practice.

A large number of development evaluations are broader, learning-oriented evaluations based on cases at country, sector or project level. A key challenge in these evaluations is how to deal with the question of external validity. Within the field of development evaluation the methodological and practical debate on how to address this issue has been relatively limited.

The Organising Committee of the International Workshop is seeking abstracts that address theoretical/methodological challenges as well as more practical experiences when using case studies in learning-oriented development evaluations. Abstracts could e.g. focus on:

  • Case sampling, analytical strategies and external validity
  • Experience with balancing concerns for relevance and learning with analytical depth
  • Meta, synthetic and comparative studies
  • Theoretical and methodological frameworks
  •  Country versus donor produced case studies
  •  Integrating quantitative and qualitative methods

The workshop will be focussed around international development assistance and how it might be best evaluated through case studies. Whilst the Organising Committee is interested in lessons that can be learned from other fields, priority will be given to development assistance oriented contributions that also have something innovative to say about the use of case studies
and to original methodological contributions that can be linked with development cooperation.

Different types of evaluation experience are welcome: From evaluations dealing with different projects, to multi-country thematic evaluations and meta or synthesis studies. Similarly, presentations from participants with different perspectives (evaluation officers, researchers, evaluators, evaluation users) are encouraged, so as to enhance the discussion on the strengths and weaknesses, implications and prerequisites of using case studies.

Abstracts should be 150-200 words (1 page) in length, and should contain the title, purpose of the paper/presentation, methodology, and anticipated results or conclusions. Abstracts must contain enough information for the referees to evaluate your contributions. Please make sure to provide name of author(s), affiliation, senior author’s title, e-mail address, mailing address, and phone and fax numbers. The number of participants will be limited to 60.

The following deadlines apply:

  • Abstract submission (in Word or PDF format): December 15, 2011
  • Notification of acceptance of Abstract: February 15, 2012
  • Registration deadline: May 4, 2012

Submission: Please e-mail your abstract or paper to

Note: The workshop will not be able to cover the costs of plane tickets and accommodation for participants.

Contact Information:
Ole Winckler Andersen
Telephone: +45 3392 0236 (cell phone: +45 2338 6328)
Postal Address:
Evaluation Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Asiatisk Plads 2
DK – 1448 Copenhagen K

Organizing Committee

Ole Winckler Andersen, Danida’s Evaluation Department
Henrik Hansen, University of Copenhagen
Elliot Stern, Evaluation: the international journal of theory, reserch and practice


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