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What Is This Thing Called a Mechanism? Findings From a Review of Realist Evaluations

Resource type
Authors/contributors
Title
What Is This Thing Called a Mechanism? Findings From a Review of Realist Evaluations
Abstract
Realist evaluation has, over the past two decades, become a widely used approach in evaluation. The cornerstone of realist evaluation is to answer the question: What works, for whom, under what circumstances, and why. This is accomplished by explicating the causal mechanisms that, within a particular context, generate the outcomes of interest. Despite the central role of mechanisms in realist evaluation, systematic knowledge about how the term mechanism is conceptualized and operationalized is limited. The aim of the present chapter is to examine how mechanisms are defined and applied in realist evaluations. Informed by the findings of the review, further conceptual and practical developments for future applications of mechanisms in realist evaluation are considered.
Publication
New Directions for Evaluation
Volume
2020
Issue
167
Pages
73-86
Date
2020
Language
en
DOI
10.1002/ev.20428
ISSN
1534-875X
Short Title
What Is This Thing Called a Mechanism?
Accessed
2021-02-18T14:26:33Z
Library Catalog
Wiley Online Library
Citation
Lemire, S., Kwako, A., Nielsen, S. B., Christie, C. A., Donaldson, S. I., & Leeuw, F. L. (2020). What Is This Thing Called a Mechanism? Findings From a Review of Realist Evaluations. New Directions for Evaluation, 2020(167), 73–86. https://doi.org/10.1002/ev.20428