Weekly links | Week of the 25th March

Another week, another list of evaluation links. If you have anything you think others might be interested in, please send them over to Calum.Davey@lshtm.ac.uk and I’ll include them in the following week:

  1. In a post at the World Bank’s Development Impact blog, Berk Özler takes a skeptical look at modern econometric attempts to create ‘synthetic’ control groups instead of randomly allocated ones.
  2. David Fetterman is interviewed for the BetterEvaluation site, arguing that evaluations should be ‘unboxed’ (skip over the clunky YouTube ‘unboxing videos’ analogy) by empowering the ‘community’. Seems there is a lot going on between the lines here, with reference to a debate going back to 1993!
  3. As Centre members have argued in the recent past, Robert Crease discusses the care needed to ensure that science and evidence has appropriate authority in the days of climate and vaccine denialism.
  4. In addition to the crises of p-values, Brexit, and climate change, the Cochrane Collaboration is having its own internal schisms. Where better to read about academics falling out than in a paper on the matter that ‘begins from the philosophical position that reality is multifaceted and multilayered’? To be continued, I’m sure.
  5. A ‘stakeholder survey’ (that includes you!) is being conducted between 22 March and 05 April (follow this link to take part) regarding the draft update to the MRC guidance on Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions. The MRC guidance was a big topic of discussion at retreat last year (read a summary here)

Have a good 47 hour weekend, and enjoy the weather!