A Selection of Recent Evaluation and Methods Publications
Fall 2013 
External Validity in Policy Evaluations That Choose Sites Purposively
Abt Associates Best Scholarly Article Award 2013
Robert Olsen, Larry Orr, Stephen Bell, Elizabeth Stuart 

Evaluations of the impact of social programs are often carried out in multiple sites, such as school districts, housing authorities, local TANF offices, or One-Stop Career Centers. Most evaluations select sites purposively following a process that is nonrandom. Unfortunately, purposive site selection can produce a sample of sites that is not representative of the population of interest for the program. This paper proposes a conceptual model of purposive site selection. 

Capacity Building Activities Shown Effective for Nonprofit Organizations
Amy Minzer, Jacob A. Klerman, Dr. Carrie Markovitz, Barbara Fink
Policy Brief | Article

A recent study in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly presents findings from the first random assignment evaluation of a capacity-building initiative. Abt's evaluation considered two primary research questions: How effective is the capacity-building assistance in increasing organizational capacity among NPOs, and in what areas of organizational capacity have these organizations showed the greatest improvement?


On Analysis of Symmetrically Predicted Endogenous Subgroups
Laura R. Peck
A Method Note in Three Parts
 
Researchers and policy makers are increasingly dissatisfied with the ''average treatment effect.'' Not only are they interested in learning about the overall causal effects of policy interventions, but they want to know what specifically it is about the intervention that is responsible for any observed effects. These articles recast earlier work on analyzing ''what works'' as a call to action for evaluators and policy analysts: we can and should do better.

Part 3 will be available in an upcoming Evaluation and Methods Digest.

When is a Social Program Ready for Rigorous Impact Evaluation?
Jacob A. Klerman, Diana Epstein
Policy Brief

A recent article in Evaluation Review coauthored by Abt Associates Senior Fellow Jacob Alex Klerman and Diana Epstein of the American Institutes for Research provides a constructive answer to this question. The article suggests an approach based on what the authors call a "falsifiable logic model"-an extension of the conventional logic model commonly used in program development.



Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators.  The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.

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