Six Issues in Social Impact Evaluation: Reflections on a Decade of Action Research with the Quip

17th February 2023

Developed through collaborative action research in Ethiopia and Malawi, the Qualitative Impact Protocol (QuIP) has since been utilised for fifty plus studies across more than twenty countries through a spin-off social enterprise (Bath SDR) that was set up to constructively disrupt impact evaluation practice. Commissioners have included the Aga Khan Foundation, Bristol City Council, Concern International, DFID, Diageo, the UK Home Office, the Mastercard Foundation, Save the Children, UNDP, Unicef, and the World Food Programme. This presentation will explore how the QuIP addresses a range of methodological issues including confirmation bias, opaque data analysis, cherry picking, contextual complexity, epistemic injustice, cost-effectiveness and redocking. In so doing it will also reflect on how the QuIP relates to causal mapping, contribution analysis, process tracing, realist evaluation, quantitative and mixed methods evaluation.

James Copestake is Professor of International Development at the University of Bath in the UK, where he is Director of Studies for the Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice. His research has ranged across development finance, practice and political economy, taking in research and evaluation of microfinance, rural development, social protection and public health interventions particularly in the Andean region, Sub-Saharan Africa and India.