Realistic Evaluation and the Process Tracing Method: A Combined Approach to Scrutinize Causal Mechanisms


  • SALAH EDDINE BOUYOUSFI Institut supérieur de commerce et d'administration des entreprises, Casablanca Maroc
  • Mohamed SABAR Institut supérieur de commerce et d'administration des entreprises



causal mechanisms, process tracing method, professional integration, Realistic Evaluation


This article proposes a methodological contribution for causal mechanism scrutiny by combining realistic evaluation (RE) and the process-tracing method (PTM). To overcome some limits of RE’s operationalization, the combination REPTM reinforces RE by breaking down the causal mechanisms and testing them with PTM. This combination was tested as part of a project for the professional integration of young people in difficulty. We developed a theoretical framework involving the framing of RE and used Bayesian logic to test the RE hypotheses. Semi-structured interviews served as the main evidence source. The results of the study support the fact that the RE-PTM combination can address some RE operationalization challenges. The RE-PTM procedure shows that PTM can provide RE with guidance on how to collect and assess data that support the contribution made by an intervention in achieving the expected outcomes.



2022-04-26 — Updated on 2022-06-30



Articles- English