Topic 2: Process & Template

Topic 2: Process & Template

“Overview … Readings and Lectures”
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  • Topic 2: Process & Template > Readings and Lectures > Introduction Video
  • Topic 2: Process & Template > Readings and Lectures > The Process Video
  • Topic 2: Process & Template > Readings and Lectures > Comparing Templates Video

Topic 2: Process & Template > Readings and Lectures > Introduction Video

  • In this session of the course we talk about the science of delivery case template.
  • Let’s begin.

Topic 2: Process & Template > Readings and Lectures > The Process Video

  • Earlier, we spoke about the rationale for science of delivery cases, and the audience for these cases.
  • Today, we want to talk about the process, about the hows- How do you actually develop an effective case study.
  • So quality in case study writing depends on the right people, people like you, talent.
  • Why process? Why is the process so important? A good case results from a collaboration among editors and experts, the researcher-writer, and the people who actually carried out a project on the ground.
  • The quality of the case is helped by close coordination, clear expectations among all of these people about what this case study is about, what the problem or question is.
  • Strong guidance that helps avoid error, that makes sure that the case responds to the questions that the experts have as well as the questions that the people on the ground who are actually doing the work might have.
  • We often do case studies in clusters, so a cluster of cases on procurement, for example.
  • A case study will begin with a research design- a paper that says “Here’s the question, here’s the problem we’re looking at.” It defines that problem, it explains common solutions.
  • This is very important if you’re walking into the field to do a case study.
  • Try to identify where a particular kind of solution has been used, and what happened.
  • We’ll try to integrate the concerns from the places where it failed into a script we can use in the place where it’s succeeded.
  • Then in the site selection phase we want to know where that problem has appeared.
  • You always want to walk into the field having a pretty good sense of what that case study is about.
  • Now, the case study development process usually has some distinct phases.
  • At Innovations for Successful Societies, where we’ve done a lot of these case studies, we usually allow about 10 days part-time for the pre-trip research, for that story development.
  • We’ll do at least 25 interviews for a case.
  • In our organization we focus on a 10 business-day period, where we’re doing several interviews a day.
  • Then the researcher comes back, does a post-trip debrief with the editors and the directors and the experts to talk about how the story has actually emerged on the basis of the interviews and how it has departed from this initial pre-story.
  • What’s changed about it but what’s also the same and where the strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Let’s try to identify a vignette that might appear right at the beginning of the case and we’ll try to work out some of the expository challenges, the likely writing challenges.
  • For us, it overlaps with the development of the next case.
  • At ISS, we submit draft two to our entire research group, so that the researcher gets lots of different perspectives on the writing.
  • The directors and experts should help develop the series- that initial question-and should be able to consult with you occasionally on email during the actual research in case you need assistance.
  • Directors, experts, maybe your fellow researchers- all of these people will be involved in review.
  • You want to know not only where you’ve gone wrong but also whether there is something a reader might not understand that you didn’t even think about because you are an expert on this topic.
  • The Overseas Development Institute, for example, sends some of its cases out for external review.

Topic 2: Process & Template > Readings and Lectures > Comparing Templates Video

  • Many organizations that write case studies use fixed templates.
  • ISS and Science of Delivery case studies are stories about particular delivery challenges and people’s responses to those challenges.
  • The case studies are centered around what we call the implementation or delivery process.
  • Using a template helps to organize information in a way that’s consistent across multiple cases with different authors.
  • Templates help to ensure that each case study includes the same kinds of information.
  • Now, other organizations may use different formats for their case studies depending on their research goals.
  • ODI’s Development Progress Program produces case studies that are focused on results rather than implementation.
  • ODI’s case studies devote more space to assessing the progress achieved, the underlying socioeconomic and political factors driving change and the large development challenges that still lied ahead. ISS and Science of Delivery use very similar templates for their case studies.
  • In both templates, the case studies centered around reform or the reform team.
  • The goal of these case studies is not to evaluate implementation.
  • The focus of the case studies are the “Delivery challenges” [leaders] faced during the process of implementing the given policy solution or intervention.
  • This is the bulk of the case study and it covers all the actions taken to address the delivery challenges that were encountered by the project.
  • In ISS case studies we call this section “Getting Down to Work. ISS case studies also include a separate section called”Framing a Response” that proceeds implementation.
  • In Science of Delivery case studies however, this information about strategy is combined with the implementation process.
  • The quality of the case study overall hinges heavily on the evidence provided in this section.
  • In science of delivery case studies, tracing the implementation process also includes some analysis of what’s called pain points or obstacles, inflection points or critical junctures, and adaptation and refinement strategies.
  • These are barriers that may not have been foreseen by the reformers at the start of the case study.
  • In ISS case studies, this information is included in a separate section called “Obstacles” that covers one or more unanticipated barriers that arose after reformers got down to work.
  • Reformers, practitioners, users of case studies are especially interested in the strategies used to adapt to overcome obstacles.
  • The final sections of the case study in the science and delivery format.
  • Discusses lessons learned and how the case study informs the science of delivery.
  • The lessons learned section identifies key insights from the case study in terms of the guiding research questions or delivery challenges.
  • What did the case study tell us about how challenges were addressed? What are the factors internal or external that help to explain the delivery outcomes that we observe in the case.
  • The final section in the science of delivery template is a section that draws clear linkages to how the case study findings inform the broader science of delivery.
  • This section is a brief assessment on whether and how the case study generates insights for science of delivery.
  • The ISS case study differs from the science of delivery template in its last two sections.
  • The results section of the ISS case study assesses how the program or policy performed according to metrics typically applied in the sector under study.
  • Sometimes a case that focuses on a specific kind of intervention can rest on these numbers but usually we’re also interested in broader impacts or outcomes that are associated with a delivery challenge.
  • First of all, it offers a chance for the writer to summarize the main drivers of success in the case study.
  • The third point to be covered in reflections is ways to think about adapting the strategies used in the case study and work-arounds that reformers may have identified.
  • All case studies include an abstract, which is essentially a 200 word summary of the main delivery challenges and the important lessons learned from the case study.
  • Science of delivery case studies also ask writers to develop an executive summary.
  • An executive summary is a brief, two-page summary that tells decision makers the main points that they need to know without having to read the entire case.
  • The executive summary should abridge each of the sections outlined in the template each and layout the main points of the case study.
  • The executive summary also provides a concise overview of the lessons learned and summarizes how the case study informs the science of delivery.
  • Typically, an executive summary is written last, once the content of the case study has been finalized.

Return to Summaries List.

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