Policy Studies Associates
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Methods

A PSA hallmark is frequent and open client conversations that strengthen the fit between project methods and client needs

 

PSA staff are highly skilled in data collection and analysis as well as in building the evaluation capacity of its clients.  PSA’s designs, analyses, and reports focus on understanding and unpacking the often-complicated relationship between interventions and outcomes.

Skilled in both quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques, PSA staff frequently combine data types to produce a robust assessment of program implementation and outcomes.  Depending on client needs, PSA reports may identify strengths and weaknesses of program implementation, recommend ways to build capacity or improve program outcomes, or suggest options for program sustainability and future growth.


Areas of methodological expertise include:

 
 

Design

  • Logic models, theories of change 
  • Evaluability assessments
  • Literature reviews
  • Program quality and outcome indicators
  • Fidelity of implementation measures
  • Sampling frameworks
  • Comparison groups/propensity score matching
  • Case studies
  • Implementation studies
  • Quasi-experimental/impact studies

 

Data collection

  • Surveys 
  • Interviews and focus groups
  • Administrative/extant/secondary data 
  • Program-participation data
  • Structured and informal observations

 

Data Analysis

  • Quasi-experimental (e.g., Difference-in-Difference, Regression Discontinuity)
  • Matched designs and analysis (e.g., propensity score)
  • Multivariate regression with continuous and limited dependent variables
  • Time series analyses (e.g., interrupted time series, event history analyses)
  • Panel data analyses
  • Complex sample design
  • Complex survey designs and analyses
  • Cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses
  • GIS and geospatial analyses
  • Social and organizational network analyses
  • Multilevel modeling (e.g., HLM)
  • Performance measurement development
  • Fidelity index scoring
  • Transcript coding and thematic analysis

 

Reporting

  • Facilitated discussions that help clients/ stakeholders understand findings and plan action steps
  • Formative recommendations for improving implementation
  • Briefs and handouts summarizing noteworthy findings and promising strategies 
  • Concise, informative, and relevant reports w/ attention-grabbing data visualizations 
  • Infographics that stimulate public discourse

 

Capacity-Building

  • Needs assessment
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Options identification and testing
  • Training and data management support