Case Study

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P AT H F I N D E R I N T E R N AT I O N A L T O O L S E R I E S

Monitoring and Evaluation – 1

PREPARING A CASE STUDY: A Guide for Designing and Conducting a Case Study for Evaluation Input By Palena Neale, PhD, Senior Evaluation Associate Shyam Thapa, PhD, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor Carolyn Boyce, MA, Evaluation Associate

May 2006

P AT H F I N D E R I N T E R N AT I O N A L T O O L S E R I E S

Monitoring and Evaluation – 1

PREPARING A CASE STUDY: A Guide for Designing and Conducting a Case Study for Evaluation Input By Palena Neale, PhD, Senior Evaluation Associate Shyam Thapa, PhD, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor Carolyn Boyce, MA, Evaluation Associate

May 2006

Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank the following Pathfinder employees and partners for their technical inputs into this document: Emmanuel Boadi (Pathfinder/Ghana), Anne Palmer (Futures Group International), Ugo Daniels (African Youth Alliance (AYA)), Veronique Dupont (Pathfinder/Extending Service Delivery (ESD)), Cathy Solter, Lauren Dunnington, and Shannon Pryor (Pathfinder headquarters). Jenny Wilder and Mary Burket are also thanked for their inputs and assistance in editing and producing this document.

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PATHFINDER INTERNATIONAL: WRITING A CASE STUDY

What is a Case Study?
A case study is a story about something unique, special, or interesting—stories can be about individuals, organizations, processes, programs, neighborhoods, institutions, and even events.1 The case study gives the story behind the result by capturing what happened to bring it about, and can be a good opportunity to highlight a project’s success, or to bring attention to a particular challenge or difficulty in a project. Cases2 might be selected because they are highly effective, not effective, representative, typical, or of special interest. A few examples of case study topics are provided below—the case studies would describe what happened when, to whom, and with what consequences in each case.

Case Study Examples Shifting Attitudes of Youth-Serving Service Providers

Uniqueness/Point of Interest Your program was able to change service providers’ attitudes towards dealing with Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) needs in an environment where provider’s attitudes have been a barrier to young people accessing SRH services. Your program was effective in introducing YFS to the MOH and in institutionalizing an YFS curriculum in a setting where the MOH did not provide YFS. Your program was able to integrate HIV prevention in several FBO service delivery points in an environment that normally does not include or welcome HIV prevention activities. Your program built the leadership capacity of youth to advocate, promote, and participate in decision making around ASRH. This transpired in a setting that did not include ASRH on the agenda nor encourage youth participation in general or in decision making in particular.

Integrating Youth-Friendly Services (YFS) in the Ministry of Health (MOH)

Integrating HIV Prevention in Faith-Based Organization (FBO) Health Services Delivery

Developing Youth Leadership in Tanzania

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Yin, Robert K. (2003). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Thousand Oakds: Sage Publications. Case refers to the unit of analysis or topic chosen for study (i.e., the individual, organization, or program).

PATHFINDER INTERNATIONAL: WRITING A CASE STUDY

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When is a Case Study Appropriate?
Case studies are appropriate when there is a unique or interesting story to be told. Case studies are often used to provide context to other data (such as outcome data), offering a more complete picture of what happened in the program and why.

What are the Advantages and Limitations of a Case Study?
The primary advantage of a case study is that it provides much more detailed information than what is available through other methods, such as surveys. Case studies also allow one to...
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