When Is Randomization Right for Evaluation?

I advocate using randomized experiments because they provide a high level of confidence in the results. But they aren't always possible or appropriate. So what criteria should researchers use to decide when to use them?

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Categories:

The Ethics of Experimental Evaluations, Things You Can Learn From Randomized Experiments, and More

Abt evaluation experts Stephen Bell and Laura Peck examine concerns about social experiments and provide ways to avoid common pitfalls.

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Learning Together: Building Stronger Practitioner-Researcher Partnerships

Promoters of evidence-based policies and practices are seeking to engage practitioners more fully in developing and carrying out technically challenging evaluations — notably randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

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From Middle to Golden Age: What the Future of Evaluation Holds

I recently hit middle age: with that birthday, and given my projections, I have as many years behind me as I have ahead. In my professional life (I've spent the past 20 years as an evaluator of social welfare policies and programs), this landmark event has had me considering the future of our field. At the annual fall conferences of the American Evaluation Association (AEA; in Chicago, November 11-14) and of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM; in Miami, November 12-14), I recently had the opportunity to ask several scholars this question:  what does the future hold for the field of program evaluation?

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Why Randomize? A Primer on Experimental Evaluations

Although Abt engages in a wide variety of research and evaluation activities, what is central to my work in particular are evaluations that use an experimental design. This blog post explains what experiments are and why we do them.

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