Introduction to Realist Methodology: Evaluation and Synthesis

Dates: Monday, February 19th and Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

University of Liverpool, London Campus

33 Finsbury Square, London

Realist methodology assists us in developing our skill for recognizing the observable and ‘hidden’ forces that produce outcomes in complex interventions. In this 2 day workshop, participants will explore the advantages and challenges of using this methodology in evaluating or synthesizing evidence -  to move past the question of ‘was it successful?’ to better understand how, for whom, and under what circumstances interventions produce their particular outcomes. This workshop is suitable for those new to the methodology or currently contemplating how it could be used, as well as those who are currently working on realist projects.


DAY 1 – Monday, February 19th, 2018

[9:30am - 12:30pm] Part A: Overview of Realist Philosophy and Principles of Realist Methodology

[12:30pm - 1:15pm] - Lunch

[1:15pm – 4:30pm] Part B: Understanding Programme Theories, Middle-Range Theories and the Context-Mechanism-Outcome Configuration

Day 1 will provide an orientation to realist methodology by pointing to key papers in the literature, explaining fundamental methodology concepts, and touching upon the corresponding philosophy of Realism. Participants will gain an understanding of the underlying logic of realist methodology, a view of the mindset needed to use the approach, and a vision of the overall process of doing a realist evaluation or review. Two simple exercises will be provided for hands-on practice.


DAY 2 – Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

[9:30am – 1:00pm] Part C: Demi-regularities; Introducing Realist Synthesis

[1:00pm – 1:45pm] – Lunch

[1:45pm – 4:30pm] - Part D: Introducing Realist Evaluation and the Realist Qualitative Interview

Day 2 will introduce more advanced concepts with a focus on understanding mechanisms, Context-Mechanism-Outcome configurations and realist theorizing. The morning session will focus on steps for realist synthesis, while the afternoon will focus on steps for realist evaluation. Those who are currently applying realist methodology will be encouraged to share their challenges and insights and seek the advice of others. Those who are at the contemplation stage will be encouraged to develop their preliminary ideas. Those who would like to simply sit and listen are also welcome to do so.  



Early Bird Rate (until December 31st 2017)

Professional: £275 / Student £225*

Regular Rate (from January 1st 2018)

Professional: £325/ Student £275

(*Students must have full time student status)


Refund policy:

100% Until December 1st 2017

50% After December 1st to December 31st, 2017

0% After December 31st, 2017