Strategies for Causal Attribution: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 6
Publication date: 6
No. of pages: 16
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One of the essential elements of an impact evaluation is that it not only measures or describes changes that have occurred but also seeks to understand the role of particular interventions (i.e., programmes or policies) in producing these changes. This process is known as causal attribution. In impact evaluation, there are three broad strategies for causal attribution: 1) estimating the counterfactual; 2) checking the consistency of evidence for the causal relationships made explicit in the theory of change; and 3) ruling out alternative explanations, through a logical, evidence-based process. The ‘best fit’ strategy for causal attribution depends on the evaluation context as well as what is being evaluated.