• The benefits of both worlds: Towards an integrated mixed-methods approach for evaluating women’s empowerment

    Author: Melody Mentz

    Increasing demands for credible, rigorous monitoring and evaluation of empowerment in the context of development will challenge theorists and practitioners to find innovative, but credible ways of understanding empowerment. This paper provides a theoretical rationale for, and a practical description of an integrated mixed-methods approach for evaluating the empowerment contributions of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development program. The paper explores the value of employing mixed-methods for increasing the credibility of results, and for improving understanding of the ways in which the program facilitates change for its participants. This paper assesses the process of data integration and analysis to provide a set of practical recommendations for practitioners seeking to employ similar approaches. The paper finds that managerial commitments, adequate investment in ongoing monitoring and evaluation activities, and openness to methodological innovation are essential for the effective development and use of mixed-method approaches in complex development interventions.

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