Realist evaluation is a theory-driven approach to evaluating evidence from complex interventions. In this workshop, participants will explore the advantage of using realist methodology to go beyond the question of ‘did an intervention work or not?’ to addressing questions about how, for whom, and under what circumstances interventions produce their particular outcomes. Participant interaction in this workshop will focus on exploring the underlying logic of realist evaluation, building the skills needed to design and implement realist projects, as well as understanding how to interpret the findings from realist evaluation and reviews.
The workshop will cover six areas:
Understanding the philosophical basis of Realist Evaluation (RE).
Introducing the main constructs employed in RE: program theory, middle-range theory; and context-mechanism-outcome (CMO) configuration.
Collecting data to test realist programme theories.
Doing “hands-on” exercises in CMO configuring and theory building.
Exemplifying various ways these concepts are used in the literature.
Exploring the limitations of the approach
The workshop will be delivered by Dr. Justin Jagosh who directs the Centre for Advancement in Realist Evaluation and Synthesis (CARES) and is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Liverpool. Justin is a consultant and co-app on numerous projects using realist methodology and was a co-investigator on the RAMESES II project to develop quality guidelines and reporting standards for Realist Evaluation. He runs an on-going programme of introductory and advanced level workshops on realist methodology including an annual Summer School. This workshop is aimed at researchers who have little or no prior knowledge of realist evaluation.