Monday, March 04, 2013

How to specify your needs if you require a case study

A client is interested in contracting us to write up a case study for one of their programmes, but they don't really know which information will be necessary. Since there are no terms of reference yet for the case study, I suggested that the client clarifies the following, in order for us to be able to assess the level of effort required.

1. What will the case study be used for? (To document lessons learnt, to help with marketing, to document evidence of a successful initiative)
2. What is the final product that you have in mind, and how long does it need to be? (A written report, or a presentation, or a glossy publication)
3. Who will be reading the Case Study?
4. How much background documents do you have available? (Project descriptions, evaluation findings, participation data, survey data)
5. What kind of additional data collection will be necessary? (Interviews, photo's, site observations)
6. Would you want to meet with the evaluation team before the assignment starts, and after it is completed? 

I came across this useful little guide on how to use Case Studies to do Program Evaluation.It helps one to assess whether a case study should be used, and how to do it.
Edith D. Balbach, Tufts University
March 1999
Copyright © 1999 California Department of Health Services
Developed by the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention
The Better Evaluation page on Case Studies can be found here.

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