Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) An application to compare national REDD+ policy processes


Sehring, Jenniver, Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, and Maria Brockhaus. 2013. “Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) An Application to Compare National REDD+ Policy Processes”. CIFOR. http://www.cifor.org/publications/pdf_files/WPapers/WP121Sehring.pdf.

“This working paper gives an overview of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), a method that enables systematic cross-case comparison of an intermediate number of case studies. It presents an overview of QCA and detailed descriptions of different versions of the method. Based on the experience applying QCA to CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study on REDD+, the paper shows how QCA can help produce parsimonious and stringent research results from a multitude of in-depth case studies developed by numerous researchers.QCA can be used as a structuring tool that allows researchers to share understanding and produce coherent data, as well as a tool for making inferences usable for policy advice.

REDD+ is still a young policy domain, and it is a very dynamic one. Currently, the benefits of QCA result mainly from the fact that it helps researchers to organize the evidence generated. However, with further and more differentiated case knowledge, and more countries achieving desired outcomes, QCA has the potential to deliver robust analysis that allows the provision of information, guidance and recommendations to ensure carbon-effective, cost-efficient and equitable REDD+ policy design and implementation.”

Rick Davies comment: I like this paper because it provides a good how-to-do-it overview of different forms of QCA, illustrated in a step-by-step fashion with one practical case example.  It may not be quite enough to enable one to do a QCA from the very start, but it provides a very good starting point


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