An Introduction to Process Tracing
Led by Barbara Befani
Wednesday 8 February 2017
Time: 10.00 – 17.00 (Registration from 09.45)
Terrace Room, London Jesus Centre,
83 Margaret Street,
London, W1W 8TB (entrance in Marylebone Passage)
Unfortunately, the venue does not have step-free access
Book now – Places are limited!
Introduction to the workshop
Process Tracing is attracting interest as a method to test contribution claims in evaluation. When the purpose of evaluation is explanation and learning, current theory-based approaches fail to provide evaluators with guidance on how to collect data and assess how strongly or weakly such data support contribution claims. In this context, the ability of Process Tracing to rigorously test qualitative causal claims, particularly in its Bayesian Updating formalisation, is much sought after.
In addition to the above, the fact that Process Tracing does not require the re-construction of a no-intervention counterfactual is very much appreciated when the question ‘what would happen without the intervention?’ is difficult or impossible to answer credibly. For example, when evaluations are conducted after the intervention is in place; when ethical considerations limit the use of random assignment; when interventions are aimed at the entire population; or for reasons related to the complexity of the intervention or the settings where the intervention is implemented.
This is the second day of a training session that introduces evaluators and commissioners to Process Tracing and how it can be used in evaluations. It will be suitable for both those who attended the first day and for those who already have some experience of Process Tracing.
The session will help participants to:
- Understand how to identify and classify Process Tracing tests such as the Smoking Gun, the Hoop test, the Straw-in the-wind and the Doubly Decisive;
- Assess confidence in contribution claims by quantifying expectations related to observation of pieces of evidence;
- Learn how to combine information in packages and estimate the probative value of multiple pieces of evidence considered together;
- Put (confidence in) contribution claims and findings from data collection up for challenge by stakeholders in a transparent and constructive way, so that stakeholders can contribute to the process of knowledge construction and ultimately agree on the strength and credibility of the claim.
By the end of the workshop, participants will have an understanding of:
- The strengths and limitations of Process Tracing;
- What to expect when commissioning Process Tracing for evaluations;
- How to quality assure the Process Tracing component of an evaluation;
- The basic Process Tracing concepts and tests;
- How to identify and run the tests in practice;
- How Process Tracing relates to other evaluation methods;
- When Process Tracing is appropriate for an evaluation.
The workshop format will be interactive, combining presentations, group discussions and practical exercises in small groups. If you attended the first session, remember to bring/remind yourselves of the examples you used. If you did not attend the first session, bring along an example from your experiences of Process Tracing.
Resources will be provided to attendees. This will include workshop presentations, reading material, and links to online material. We will also send an abbreviated set of slides from the first day to all those who sign up to the second day.
Barbara Befani (Research Fellow at the University of Surrey, Research Associate at the University of East Anglia) is a specialist in innovative designs and methods for complex impact evaluations (particularly QCA and Process Tracing). She has a broad overview of possible options, including causal inference options, and she has developed a tool to improve understanding and guide choice of methods, which helps users assess and compare 11 different options for different evaluations.
An active member of the evaluation community, Barbara is a former Secretary General of the European Evaluation Society (EES) and was programme coordinator of the 12th EES biennial conference in Maastricht (28-30 September 2016).
For UKES members: £95.00 including VAT (£79.17 event fee plus £15.83 VAT @ 20%) Members are entitled to a 20% discount for each additional member from the same organisation.
For Non-members: £195.00 including VAT (£162.50 event fee plus £32.50 VAT @ 20%)
20% discount to students
Those who attended the first day will receive a 20% discount on the price of the second session – which will therefore cost £76.00 including VAT for UKES members, and £156.00 including VAT for non-members.
Lunch will be provided.