Understanding sustainable outcomes in international development: Towards a realist evaluation framework

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Abstract

Billions of dollars continue to be provided in foreign aid each year. However, few scholarly studies have examined whether the outcomes from foreign aid interventions are sustained after donor funding has ceased. This paper examines current approaches to assessing this issue before arguing that a realist evaluation approach is ideally suited to understand why and how sustained outcomes are—or are not—achieved. It contributes to the existing literature by presenting three new frameworks to examine the sustainability of outcomes in international development as well as some Context-Mechanism-Outcome statements. Implications for governments, communities, households and donor/implementing organisations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of International Development
Early online dateMay 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2022

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