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Research and Evaluation Design

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A successful research project or program evaluation needs a strong foundation.  That strong foundation is created by first deciding on your research question and then choosing the most appropriate research design to fit your needs.  While we often consider randomized controlled trials the “gold standard” in science, other study designs are both equally valid and equally informative.

We can help you…

  • Identify your research question and working hypotheses
  • Design and implement qualitative research
    • Whether key informant interview or focus groups of interested stakeholders, we can assist you in deciding who to interview and what questions to ask.
  • Employ observational research designs
    • Cohort, case-control, and cross-section studies are important tools to identify personal, social, and environmental risk factors of disease.
  • Use quasi-experimental research to evaluate programs and policies
    • Often, it is impossible to randomly assign people to receive a certain program or feel the effects of a certain policy.  Even so, program and policy effectiveness can be determined by creating similar, but non-randomized groups.
  • Use experimental research to develop and validate new theories
    • Experimental research is widely accepted as the “gold standard” in science, but careful selection of the study population, intervention, and variables is needed to ensure the experiment is a success.
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