Pre-experimental design in project evaluation: the case of the scaling-up nutrition (SUNI) project

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Wamunyima, Nayunda
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SAGE Publications
This research methods case is based on the end-line evaluation of the Scaling-Up Nutrition Intervention (SUNI) project implemented by CARE International in Zambia, Program Against Malnutrition and other partners. Apart from fulfilling funding requirements, the evaluation was meant to establish end-line values for outcome level indicators for the project and, to assess change and impact of the project by comparing baseline and end-line values. The end-line evaluation was commissioned by CARE International in Zambia. To conduct the end-line evaluation of the SUNI project, a one-group pre-test -post-test design was adopted. This is a pre-experimental design that measures changes as a result of an intervention/project by comparing the before and after intervention values and/or conditions, without comparison groups. Therefore, this research methods case illustrates how the design was applied in the evaluation of the SUNI project. Furthermore, the strengths and limitations of the design are highlighted and discussed. The research method case further proposes alternative research designs to overcome some of the weaknesses of the one-group pre-test -post-test design. Lastly, the research methods case also highlights some of the considerations to take into account when using the one-group pre-test -post-test pre-experimental design and the circumstances under which the design might be considered appropriate. Pre-experimental design; one-group pre-test post-test design; project evaluation
Book chapter
Nutrition intervention projects. , Nutrition baseline.