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TitleTools and Case Studies
LanguageEnglish
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Document Text Contents
Page 1

2

Tools and Case Studies

PART

Introduction

In part 2 of this Sourcebook we describe and illustrate in greater detail a
range of tools that are available for conducting institutional, political, and
social analysis of policy reform. We follow the analytical framework laid
out in part 1 by discussing tools at three levels of analysis: the macro-
level of country and reform context, the meso-level of reform imple-
mentation, and the micro-level of reform impact.

For each tool a one-page table summarizes its key elements and appli-
cation, followed by a description of the procedure for applying the tool
and a case study illustration. The micro-level is further illustrated with
case studies of combined methods used to analyze the distributional
impacts of policy reform in different contexts.

Page 86

PART 2: Tools and Case Studies

Literature Review Procedure, Using Systematic Review Method1

Time, Materials, and Skills Needed

Conducting a literature review using a systematic review method could take up to six

months, depending on scope and rigor of the research. The researcher needs analyti-

cal skills and a good knowledge of the subject area if possible.

Possible Approach

Step 1: Formulate an Answerable Research Question. When identifying the
subject for a literature review in a PSIA context, a central question should be pro-

posed that addresses the policy intervention about which evidence is being gathered,

the population and sub-groups that the policy might affect, the intended policy

outcomes, and the context.

Step 2: Search for Relevant Studies and Literature. Plan a strategy for searching
for relevant literature from appropriate electronic/internet sources; appropriate

print sources (such as journals, textbooks, research documents); and “grey” (unpub-

lished) literature.

Step 3: Critically Appraise the Literature Found. Establish criteria for including
or excluding primary studies and then assess the literature for quality and validity

based on its appropriateness to the questions, populations, and outcomes being

addressed as well as the evidence of selection, performance, attrition, or detection

bias in primary studies.

Step 4: Systematically Extract Data from the Literature. Plan a strategy for
extracting data from the literature that meets the criteria established. The strategy

should include a data collection form recording how and why data were extracted

from included studies; information about the characteristics of included studies;

verification of study eligibility for the review; details of study characteristics, meth-

ods, participants (that is, populations and subgroups), interventions, outcomes, and

findings; and a reliability check for data collection/extraction.

Step 5: Analyze and Present the Findings. Analyze and present the findings of the
included studies by addressing the following questions:

• What comparisons should be made (for example, by interventions studied,

participants included, outcomes measured)?

9

186

Page 87

CHAPTER 9: Micro-Level Analysis
9

• What study results are needed for each comparison?

• What assessments of validity are to be used in the analysis?

• Is other data or information needed from authors of studies included in the

review?

• Do the data from different studies need to be transformed for the review’s analysis?

• How is the heterogeneity/homogeneity of studies to be determined?

• Is a meta-analysis of findings possible?

• What are the main findings of the review?

• What are the likely effect sizes of the proposed policy intervention, net of the

counterfactual?

• What are the main caveats and qualifications of the findings of this review?

Step 6: Interpret the Findings. When interpreting the findings of the review, the
following questions should be addressed:

• What is the strength of the evidence from the review?

• How applicable are the results of the review to “real life” policy and practice?

• What does the review say about the costs and benefits of the proposed

intervention?

• What trade-offs are suggested by the review between expected benefits, harm, and

costs (including opportunity costs)?

• What mediating factors emerge from the review that might affect the implications

for policy and practice in different contexts?

Step 7: Summarize the Implications for Policy and Practice. Once the findings
have been interpreted, the key messages and implications for policy making or

implementation should be summarized clearly and succinctly. Important messages

regarding future research needs in the area covered by the literature review should

also be summarized.

Points to Remember

While conducting a literature review using the systematic review method allows for

a clear procedure to be followed, it might not always be either possible or necessary.

187

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ISBN: 0-8213-6890-7

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