Stories and Statistics: Why we need mixed methods to understand international development


Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 4:15pm to 5:30pm


Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Suite 200N, 124 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge

Quantitative or qualitative: which evaluation method is more useful?  This has long been a contentious debate in the field of international development.  Yet while individual methods like randomized control trials, ethnography, structured observations, and interviews are each well-placed to reveal parts of the picture, each can also miss important parts of the whole.  Thus the question is: how can researchers become more deliberate and holistic in using mixed methods to understand the full picture?  The Transparency for Development Project is seeking to answer that question in its pursuit of understanding of whether, where, and how citizen-led transparency and accountability interventions can improve health.  Join us as T4D Principal Investigators Archon Fung, Dan Levy, and Stephen Kosack reflect on the T4D project’s mixed method approach and draw on early insights from the evaluation that demonstrate the importance of integrating qualitative and quantitative methods in evaluating development programs.


Dan Levy, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, HKS; Faculty Chair, SLATE

Stephen Kosack, Associate Professor, University of Washington; Senior Research Fellow, Ash Center


Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship; Academic Dean, HKS

Event co-sponsored by the Center for International Development and the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences.