Semistructured interviews involve an interviewer asking some prespecified, open-ended questions, with follow-up questions based on what the interviewee has to say. This Reflections on Methodology post describes a semistructured interview protocol recently used to explore how children who experience poverty perceive their situations, their economic status, and public benefit programs.
Several jurisdictions have instituted procedures meant to affect the use of bail. To determine whether those policies have had effects, a past trend can be used to extrapolate what would have happened had business continued as usual. This post discusses how researchers did such an extrapolation in Mecklenburg, North Carolina.
In a speech before the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference on November 7, 2008, Judith M. Gueron, President Emerita and Scholar in Residence at MDRC, accepted the Peter H. Rossi Award for Contributions to the Theory or Practice of Program Evaluation.
This MDRC working paper on research methodology explores two complementary approaches to developing empirical benchmarks for achievement effect sizes in educational interventions.
This MDRC working paper on research methodology provides practical guidance for researchers who are designing studies that randomize groups to measure the impacts of interventions on children.
This paper illustrates how to design an experimental sample for measuring the effects of educational programs when whole schools are randomized to a program and control group. It addresses such issues as what number of schools should be randomized, how many students per school are needed, and what is the best mix of program and control schools.