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The Journal of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University


In recent decades, the mixed methods approach has gained traction in many research fields, including impact evaluation. Impact evaluation is used in many sectors, but this paper focuses on its use in international development. This paper explores what is known and unknown about using mixed methods as a possible solution for the many challenges facing impact evaluation. To provide a foundation for this claim and clarify the language surrounding mixed methods and impact evaluations, the paper first defines the terms impact evaluation, qualitative, quantitative, and methodology. It also discusses the benefits and limitations to qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches as they apply to impact evaluation. The paper then conceptualizes how rigor is applied to both qualitative and quantitative work. Finally, it outlines current best practices and gives recommendations going forward.

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