3ie ~ International Initiative for Impact Evaluation

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Working Paper 3

Theory-based impact evaluation: principles and practice

June 2009

Calls for rigorous impact evaluation has been accompanied by the quest for what works and why. Howard White identifies six principles for the successful application of the approach -- mapping out the causal chain (programme theory), understanding the context, anticipating heterogeneity, rigorous evaluation of impact using a credible counterfactual, rigorous factual analysis and using mixed methods.

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