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Cased-based modelling and scenario simulation for ex-post evaluation

Schimpf, Corey; Barbrook-Johnson, Pete; Castellani, Brian


Corey Schimpf

Pete Barbrook-Johnson


Despite 20 years of increasing acceptance, implementing complexity-appropriate methods for ex-post evaluation remains a challenge: instead of focusing on complex interventions, methods need to help evaluators better explore how policies (no matter how simple) take place in real-world, open, dynamic systems where many intertwined factors about the cases being targeted affect outcomes in numerous ways. To assist in this advance, we developed case-based scenario simulation, a new visually intuitive evaluation tool grounded in a data-driven, case-based, computational modelling approach, which evaluators can use to explore counterfactuals, status-quo trends, and what-if scenarios for some potential set of real or imagined interventions. To demonstrate the value and versatility of case-based scenario simulation we explore four published evaluations that differ in design (cross sectional, longitudinal, and experimental) and purpose (learning or accountability), and present a prospective view of how case-based scenario simulation could support and enhance evaluators’ efforts in these complex contexts.


Schimpf, C., Barbrook-Johnson, P., & Castellani, B. (2021). Cased-based modelling and scenario simulation for ex-post evaluation. Evaluation, 27(1), 116-137.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jan 14, 2021
Publication Date 2021-01
Deposit Date Mar 7, 2021
Journal Evaluation
Print ISSN 1356-3890
Electronic ISSN 1461-7153
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 1
Pages 116-137