What role for qualitative methods in randomized experiments?

Martin Prowse, Laura Camfield

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


The vibrant debate on randomized experiments within international development
has been slow to accept a role for qualitative methods within research designs. Whilst there are
examples of how „field visits‟ or descriptive analyses of context can play a complementary, but
secondary, role to quantitative methods, little attention has been paid to the possibility of
randomized experiments that allow a primary role to qualitative methods. This paper assesses
whether a range of qualitative methods compromise the internal and external validity criteria of
randomized experiments. It suggests that life history interviews have advantages over other
qualitative methods, and offers one alternative to the conventional survey tool.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherInstitute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp
Number of pages26
Place of PublicationBelgium
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

Publication series

NameInstitute of Development Policy and Management Working Paper


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