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Realist Evaluation

ARC Fund representatives, together with colleagues from Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Bulgaria, underwent a two-day intensive training on Realist Evaluation Research. The training was part of the SYNCLUSIVE project and took place at the ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon in Portugal.

The Realist research methodology aims to uncover the fundamental mechanisms which explain how and why programs work in specific circumstances, emphasising the significance of context, mechanisms, and outcomes. To be more precise, “This mechanism produces this outcome in this particular context.” Mechanisms are fundamental to realist explanations of how and why change occurs in a given context and produces a specific outcome. 

A number of initiatives to assist the integration of disadvantaged groups into the employment market are being planned by ARC Fund and the other SYNCLUSIVE partners. The Realist theory will assist them in identifying which labor market interventions are effective for whom, in what contexts, and how, answering question like “What is the logic for the intervention?”, “What is the underlying assumption?”, “That might be a good idea. What’s the best way to explain how it works?”.

“The aim is not to only test and prove certain evidence but also to build on theory and to better understand what is happening, how it works, for whom, and in what circumstances.”, Suzanne van Hees, PhD, lecturer. 


SYNCLUSIVE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101094526