18 - 20 June 2024

Online (Zoom), 1300 - 1700 BST

Fully Booked!

Contribution Analysis (June 2024)

A pragmatic approach to operationalise theory-based evaluation


This course is fully booked. If you would like to be put on the wait list for this instance (June 2024), submit your request here.

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A spot on the wait list gives a first-come-first-served spot in the June course in the event someone cancels before the course commences.

Course Summary

Contribution Analysis has emerged as a structured approach to address the real-world challenges of evaluating impacts of complex interventions. It consists of a step-wise, iterative process of refining theories of change. Mixed method research designs are used to verify the critical and contested assumptions (‘causal hotspots’). The course explains the approach and introduces you to methods that are often used to assess the contribution of a program and reflect on the importance of the change that results from that contribution.



This is an intermediate course that targets relatively experienced independent evaluators, programme implementers, and evaluation commissioners who need to understand or design appropriate mixed-methods evaluations in conditions of complexity.


Learning Outcomes:

Participants will learn how to:

  • Recognise why contribution is different than attribution and implications for evaluation design.
  • Choose appropriate methods to select and verify ‘causal hotspots’ in the theory of change.
  • Critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of several methods in order to be able to combine them purposefully in a robust evaluation design.



Giel Ton is Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies and the Centre for Development Impact He specialises in the design of mixed-methods impact evaluations in private-sector development programmes. He promotes contribution analysis as an overarching approach of theory-based evaluation and a stepwise process to identify the hotspots where additional data collection and reflection are needed. He has a special interest in the effectiveness of programmes that aim to improve governance and coordination in agricultural value chains and empower smallholder farmers in collective action. He has published about the methodological challenges of impact evaluation of development interventions in the journal Evaluation and the IDS Bulletin. He has advanced skills in both qualitative and econometric research.

Marina Apgar is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies and the Centre for Development Impact. She is a human ecologist with 20 years of experience working directly with marginalised communities in international development across the research-practice divide, supporting locally defined development pathways. Throughout her work, Marina uses a systems approach to participatory action research. Her current evaluation research interests include development and implementation of complexity-aware monitoring, evaluation and learning systems, combining theory based and participatory evaluation methodologies.  She accompanies foundations, bilateral donors and development practitioners as they learn to improve their practice. She edited the SAGE Handbook of Action Research section on Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning and convenes courses on participatory evaluation and how to assess the strength of evidence in qualitative case-based evaluation.


Access Details:

This course is offered fully online. Access details will be provided after the booking window closes on 17 June 1000 BST.

If you have any alternative support needs in order to effectively participate in this training, please let us know before booking or as soon as possible after booking by emailing our team on hello@evaluation.org.uk . We look forward to assisting you in whatever way we can.



Refunds will only be provided for participant cancellations received at least 14 days prior to the event. UKES reserves the right to cancel the event, in which case a full refund would be provided.



Non-Members             £350 + VAT
Members                      £300 + VAT
Student Members       £250 + VAT

Bookings close at 1000 BST on 17 June 2024.


*Student bursaries available for full-time students at UK institutions. Apply here: https://www.evaluation.org.uk/student-bursaries-for-ukes-training-courses/