This page is optimized for a taller screen. Please rotate your device or increase the size of your browser window.

Causal Mechanisms in Program Evaluation

Article 1: Sebastian Lemire, Alexander Kwako, Steffen B. Nielsen, Christina A. Christie, Stewart I. Donaldson, and Frans L. Leeuw; Article 2: Laura R. Peck


October 14, 2020

Causal mechanisms play a central role in understanding how and why programs work.  Informed by a recent review, Sebastian Lemire and his co-authors have written an article desribing how causal mechanisms are conceptualized and applied in realist evaluations in “What Is This Thing Called a Mechanism? Findings From a Review of Realist Evaluations.” They also consider further conceptual and practical developments for future applications of mechanisms in evaluation.

In “Leveraging Experimental Evaluations for Understanding Causal Mechanism,” Laura Peck examines how experimental evaluations—through both their design and the analysis of their data—can shed insights on the causal mechanisms that drive program impacts.