Thursday, March 21, 2019

APPAM Institutional Member Update - March 2019

For Institutional Members: Share ideas and research with APPAM this Spring at events and through surveys.


APPAM Institutional Member Forum - Bringing Rigor and Intentionality to Mixed Methods Evaluations of Social Programs

February 24, 2019 09:38 AM
An APPAM-Westat Institutional Members Forum:   June 5, 2019
(Registration information will be posted soon.)

Mixed methods evaluation seeks to integrate a body of qualitative and quantitative evidence to form conclusions about the success, or impact, of a social policy intervention that neither piece alone—nor even the concatenation of their findings—can produce.  Despite its promise, concern persists that too often the qualitative and quantitative “mixing” occurs only after investigation ends and that mixed methods approaches lack the scientific rigor to be trusted.  A day-long forum sponsored by Westat and APPAM will focus researchers on sharpening and expanding the mixed method paradigm to respond to these concerns and to enable impact evaluations to make larger contributions to policy learning.  Major themes include the roles of mixed methods evaluation in explaining/understanding impact findings from randomized control trials and in strengthening quasi-experimental analytic methods to ward off selection bias.  A view of how government agencies can benefit from the approach follows.  Closing perspectives—both skeptical and hopeful—consider where mixed methods evaluation may take us going forward.  Audience participation opportunities interlace the day.

Tentative Agenda for the Day:
“What Is Mixed-Methods Evaluation and Its Roles?"
Demetra Nightingale  -- Urban Institute
“Pushing the Envelope of Mixed Methods Evaluation to Better Understand RCT Impact Results" 
Virginia Knox  --  MDRC
Reaction (followed by open discussion)  
Debra Rog – Westat
”Using Mixed Methods Evaluation to Support Better Quasi-Experimental Impact Analysis”   
Stephen Bell – Westat
Reaction (followed by open discussion)  
Jeffrey Smith – University of Wisconsin-Madison
Audience Participation Sessions: Sharing of Examples and Real-World Challenges
“How Can Government Policy Decisions Benefit? “    
Speaker TBD
Moderators:  Michelle Derr, Mathematica; Dan Litwok, Abt Associates
Perspectives on What Lies Ahead: 
"Haven’t We Been Here Before?  Convince Me"    
Speaker TBD
"Potential and Progress in the Next Decade" 
Carolyn Hill  --  MDRC
Open Discussion            

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