I would like to thank and appreciate all the contributors to the ongoing discussion, which I find it very interesting, awareness raising and inducing rethinking of evaluation methodologies. The discussion has surfaced experiences of different intellectuals with basic research and applied research background and of development professionals. The various experiences, I believe have deepened and widen the understanding with regard to “how mixed methods are used in programme evaluations”.
I am development professional in the area of agriculture (livestock and fisheries and natural resource management). From my experience the “how mixed methods are used in development/program evaluations” often depends on the type of data/information to be evaluated. Thus, depending the nature of the development program/project to be evaluated, the required data could be for example, quantitative and qualitative data. As we are all aware quantitative data are information that can be quantified, counted or measured, and given a numerical value. While qualitative data is descriptive in nature, expressed in terms of language rather than numerical values.
I would also like to relate this to “Logical Frame work Approach of project planning”(project which will be later evaluated during implementation). To my understanding most development programs have “Logframe” which clearly shows: program/project goals; outcomes; outputs; activities along with narrative summaries; objectively verifiable indicators; means of verification and assumptions. Thus during evaluation, the program/project will be evaluated based to what is put in the logeframe , which would require mixed evaluation methods depending the nature of the program/project. For example, among others use of qualitative and qualitative method can help to conduct successful evaluation. Using both qualitative and qualitative methods will strengthen the evaluation. Apart from quantitative method, qualitative methods, to mention few such as focused group discussions; in-depth interviews; case studies etc. can be used.