Dealing with Complex Causality and Small Data Sets? Try a Theory Based Approach and Qualitative Comparative Analysis

Theory based approaches (see lend themselves to a broad range of applications, including situations of high complexity and small numbers of cases. These are situations where both conceptually and practically, conventional statistical analysis just doesn’t fit (Befani, Lederman and Sager 2007). European evaluators (Befani, Lederman and Sager 2007, Sager and Lederman 2012) have recently suggested that Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) can be combined with theory-based approaches to provide at least a partial answer to this problem. The following deck presents a simple illustration of how realistic evaluation and a QCA approach might be combined (click here for the deck  At PMN we have begun to use this approach in our current evaluation practice. We find it straight-forward, potentially cost-effective and compelling. For more information contact