12 February 2021

Join us via Zoom 12:00 - 13:00

UK Evaluation Journal Club – Discussion with authors

Qualitative Comparative Analysis as an Evaluation Tool

We are pleased to announce that Dr Valerie Pattyn and Dr Barbara Befani will be discussing their paper Qualitative Comparative Analysis as an Evaluation Tool: Lessons from an Application in Development Cooperation.

Dr Valerie Pattyn is Assistant Professor, Institute of Public Administration, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Dr Barbara Befani is a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey Centre for Research in Social Simulation and a Research Associate at the University of East Anglia.

This journal club meeting provides an opportunity to discuss with Valerie and Barbara :

•  The challenges of evaluating political accountability using as a case study a programme funded by a Dutch NGO to support the media in Kenya and Tanzania.

•  how and why QCA was chosen as an approach and buy-in secured from the evaluation stakeholders.

•  how the framing of the evaluation terms of reference and questions can differ with QCA

•  practical challenges faced when using QCA including design, data collection, analysis and interpretation

  • anything else you might want to ask or discuss with the authors.

The journal club is open to members of the Society and the number of places are limited to allow attendees to contribute and feel part of the discussion.


Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) is gaining ground in evaluation circles, but the number of applications is still limited. In this article, we consider the challenges that can emerge during a QCA evaluation by drawing on our experience of conducting one in the field of development cooperation. For each stage of the evaluation process, we systematically discuss the challenges we encountered and suggest solutions on how these can be addressed. We believe that sharing this kind of lessons learned can help evaluators become more familiar with QCA, shedding light on what it is to be expected when considering the application of QCA for an evaluation, at the same time reducing unfounded fears and promoting awareness of traps and requirements. The article can be insightful and potentially inspirational for both commissioners and evaluators

Pattyn, V., Molenveld, A., Befani, B. (2019). Qualitative Comparative Analysis as an Evaluation Tool: Lessons From an Application in Development Cooperation. American Journal of Evaluation, 2019, Vol. 40(1) 55-74. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1098214017710502


This event is for members only, who can register here to join us