Evaluating complex programmes: Reflections on realism and resilience

Autori: Leavy, Jennifer; McDowell, Stephen; Boydell, Edward; Fitzgerald, Gretta; Giordano, Nicola

This paper considers the challenges faced and lessons learned in the mid-term review of BRACED projects to provide insights into using realist principles to evaluate complex, resilience-building programmes in an international development context. The paper outlines the conceptual approach to establishing this evaluation framework, the process for translating this realist thinking into practice, and the resulting findings on building resilience. The paper also descibes the limitations of this realist evaluation approach and provides lessons for other large resilience-building programmes.

The Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme is a 3-year global initiative to strengthen resilience at scale, from local to national level, aiming to improve the ability of 5 million people to withstand the impacts of climate change, extremes and disasters through 15 projects across 13 countries in East Africa, the Sahel and Asia.