Seminar Quasi-experimental designs and complex causation
20/01 - 30/11/2017

Since a few years, complexity is rising on the agenda. The interest for new or better methods to deal with programmes that intervene in complex situations is growing in circles of health, international aid and development (see Be-cause Health working group Complexity), as well as in the field of health policy and system research. However, the uptake of complex systems thinking in actual practice has been slow. Sound applications of complex systems thinking to development and health remain scarce, both in the fields of planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of international aid programmes and in the fields of evaluation and research. For this reason, we organise a series of seminars on complexity. We would like to contribute to the debate on how to better take on board complex systems thinking and to help shift the paradigm in the field of research and evaluation in health and development.


We would like to invite you for the third seminar, Quasi-experimental designs and complex causation that will take place on 20 January 2016 at the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp.
Richard Byng, Professor in Primary Care Research, and his team from the Clinical Trials & Health Research – Translational & Stratified Medicine department of Plymouth University will introduce how they are currently developing an intervention study that combines a realist evaluation approach with a ‘traditional’ trial design. Within the project Offenders with Common Mental Health Problems (ENGAGER 2), Richard is developing and evaluating an intervention for prison leavers, incorporating an exploratory RCT.

The seminar will be divided in 3 sessions and engage the participants in thinking about how such a hybrid study can be designed to allow dealing with complex causation. A more detailed programme will be sent out later.

The series is organised by the Department of Public Health (ITM), in collaboration with the Health Department of the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) and the Institut de recherche santé et société, Université Catholique de Louvain, and with support of Be-cause health.


Report seminar 20/01/2017