Getting to the bottom line: A method for synthesizing findings from mixed method program evaluations
McConney, A., Rudd, A. and Ayres, R. (2000) Getting to the bottom line: A method for synthesizing findings from mixed method program evaluations. In: EVALUATION 2000: The Annual Meeting of the American Evaluation Association, 1 - 4 November 2000, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Evaluators concerned more with pragmatics than with competing epistemological paradigms have brought multi-and mixed method evaluations into common practice. Program evaluators commonly use multiple methods and mixed data to capture both the breadth and depth of the evaluand and to strengthen the validity of findings. However, multiple or mixed methods may yield incongruent results, and evaluators may find themselves reporting conflicting findings to program staff, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Our purpose is to offer a method for synthesizing the findings from multi or mixed method evaluations to reach defensible evaluation (primarily summative) conclusions. The proposed method uses a set of criteria and analytic techniques to assess the worth of each data source or type, and what each says about program effect. Once on a common scale, simple math allows synthesis across data sources or types. The method should prove a valuable tool for evaluators across a range of experience.
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