Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding

You are here

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
Add to My Calendar

Events

Meta Analysis in Peacebuilding

A few months ago I attended a "Meta-Analysis Demystified" session at the American Evaluation Association conference in November (presentation available here). This was, essentially, an introduction to meta-analysis for me, as I was completely unfamiliar with the methodology. According to the oh-so-authoritative Wikipedia, meta-analysis "combines the results of several studies that address a set of related research hypotheses. In its simplest form, this is normally by identification of a common measure of effect size, for which a weighted average might be the output of a meta-analyses. Here the weighting might be related to sample sizes within the individual studies. More generally there are other differences between the studies that need to be allowed for, but the general aim of a meta-analysis is to more powerfully estimate the true "effect size" as opposed to a smaller "effect size" derived in a single study under a given single set of assumptions and conditions."

A key feature of meta-analysis is that it is a quantiative inquiry; if you cannot convert your qualitative data into quantitative, you cannot use meta-analysis. This strikes me as a considerable limitation in the methodology's application in peacebuilding and conflict transformation.

I do, however, see potential application of this methodology in the development of comparative indices for expected results (see, New Routes Vol. 13 no. 3). Can anyone lend any insight to this? You might also read Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church's latest article, "Evaluating Peacebuilding: Not Yet All It Could Be".