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Date(s) - 18/10/2021 - 22/10/2021
All Day


Interventions are theories and evaluation is the test. This well-known reference is indicative of an influential school of thought and practice in evaluation, often called theory-driven or theory-based evaluation. Policy interventions (e.g. programs and projects) rely on underlying theories regarding how they are intended to work and contribute to processes of change. These theories (usually called program theories, theories of change, or intervention theories) are often made explicit in documents, but sometimes only exist in the minds of stakeholders. Program theories (whether explicit or tacit) guide the design and implementation of policy interventions and also constitute an important basis for evaluation. This workshop mainly focuses on the latter and provides an overview of the essentials of theory-based evaluation.

The workshop covers the following topics:

  • What do we mean by program theory
  • Why is program theory important (in evaluation)
  • What are the sources of program theory
  • How can we develop program theory
  • How do we use program theory as a framework for evaluation
  • What are the main challenges for using program theory in evaluation

The workshop has a strong practical orientation. Examples from evaluations in the field of international development are used throughout the workshop to illustrate the content. The workshop applies a combination of short lectures, group exercises, and group and plenary discussions.

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