Deutsche Evaluierungsinstitut der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit

Methods & Standards

Method Integration in Complex Evaluation

Evaluations often deal with multiple and multi-dimensional evaluation questions and assess complex evaluation objects in changing contexts. This requires evaluators to apply different methods and to analyze different types of data. Additionally, the evaluation community is multi-disciplinary and relies on a wide set of analytical procedures from the social sciences, natural sciences, applied sciences and humanities. The toolbox of available designs and methods is thus rich and diverse.DEval sees a substantial added value from integrating different methods in evaluations.


- Facilitate methodological debate and exchange within the evaluation community on the matter of method integration.

- Bundle expertise and best practices in mixed-methods and multi-method approaches for evaluation.

- Reconcile different methodological cultures in the evaluation community

- Transfer and adapt recent methodological innovations from the social sciences for the field of evaluation.

- Work and advance towards a more systematic integration of multiple methods in evaluation.

- Increase the availability of systematic approaches to method integration in evaluation.

- Provide guidance for evaluators on the selection of appropriate methods and their integration.

- Improve the integration of new types of data and data analysis in evaluation designs.

Strategic action:

In order to achieve these objectives, the project is implementing several activities

- DEval participates in the DFG Mixed and Multi Method Research Network.

- DEval initiated a Thematic Working Group on “Methods and Designs” at the European Evaluation Society (EES) and provides a plattform to evaluators for knowledge exchange, discussion, and questions related to the integration of methods.

- Apply integrated designs in DEval evaluations more systematically. One example is the evaluation of Climate Change Adaptation.

- Develop practical guidelines for the integration of methods in complex evaluations.