Integrating quasi-experimental and inductive designs in evaluation: A case study of the impact of free bus travel on public health


Green, J; Roberts, H; Petticrew, M; Steinbach, R; Goodman, A; Jones, A; Edwards, P; (2015) Integrating quasi-experimental and inductive designs in evaluation: A case study of the impact of free bus travel on public health. Evaluation (London, England, 21 (4). pp. 391-406. ISSN 1356-3890 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1356389015605205

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Abstract

Evaluations of natural experiments' in public policy are typically considered weak' evidence. Challenges include: making credible claims for causal inference (internal validity); generalizing beyond the case (external validity); and providing useful evidence for decision makers. In public health, where experimental evidence is encouraged by funders and enjoys a degree of rhetorical favour, in theory if not practice, current guidance for evaluating natural experiments focuses largely on methods for strengthening internal validity. Using a case study of the evaluation of free bus travel for young people in London, UK, we demonstrate a pragmatic approach to strengthening both internal and external validity in evaluations through integrating the logic of quasi-experimental methods with inductive qualitative analysis. Combining theoretical and inductive analysis in this way to address questions of policy interest through evaluations of natural experiments may be fruitful, and have methodological advantages over randomized designs.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research (2003-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
Web of Science ID: 362708200002
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2344832

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