HKS Authors

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Over the last two decades, social scientists across the disciplines have worked tirelessly to enhance the precision of claims made about the impact of development projects, seeking to formally verify ‘what works’ as part of a broader campaign for ‘evidence-based policy-making’ conducted on the basis of ‘rigorous evaluations’. In an age of heightened public scrutiny of aid budgets and policy effectiveness, and of rising calls by development agencies themselves for greater accountability and transparency, it was deemed no longer acceptable to claim success for a project if selected beneficiaries or officials merely expressed satisfaction, if necessary administrative requirements had been upheld, or if large sums had been dispersed without undue controversy.


Woolcock, Michael. "Will It Work Here? Using Case Studies to Generate ‘Key Facts’ About Complex Development Programs." The Case for Case Studies: Methods and Applications in International Development. Ed. Jennifer Widner, Michael Woolcock, and Daniel Ortego Nieto. Cambridge University Press, 2022, 87-116.