Doing Process Analysis Better

Doing Process Analysis Better

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Evaluation specifications for social experiments typically include a requirement for a “process analysis” of the intervention in addition to impact measurement and cost-benefit assessment. There is little agreement in the literature concerning what belongs in a process analysis. This report, prepared for the U.S. Social Security Administration’s Office of Program Development and Research in 2012 and revised in 2013, discusses the concept of process analysis, the role of process analysis in three SSA-supported demonstrations, and the use of the term in evaluation guides by various agencies. The end product is a set of guidelines for process analysis. Cast as 10 “steps,” the guidelines are intended for use in two ways. The first is as a checklist for demonstration planners, a response to the question “What are the essential elements of process analysis?” The second is as checklist for demonstration evaluators: What should be there, and is it?