RCE-What Rapid-Cycle Evaluation (RCE) can do for you

  • March 19, 2019

Did you know that small changes to program and project operations can improve efficiency and effectiveness?

RCE uses a rigorous, scientific approach to provide decision-makers with timely and actionable evidence of whether operational changes improve program outcomes. Often, changes can be tested in a matter of months, and decision-makers can have a high degree of confidence in the results. RCEs typically apply rapid-but-rigorous methodologies that blend quantitative and qualitative research approaches. RCE can also help avoid investments in changes that are unlikely to produce the desired results.

  1. Existing Data: RCEs rely on existing data to measure impacts. To ensure timely and low-cost analysis, rapid-cycle evaluation relies primarily on existing data or integrated administrative data systems that span multiple programs. It is critically important to note that available data are highly accurate, valid, and reliable measures of the expected outcomes.
  2. Rigor: RCEs use rigorous research methods to identify a causal link between the change and the outcome. This approach employs experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation designs.
  3. Quick Results: RCEs focus on results that can be observed in a short timeframe. Relevant results should be observable in the short term.
  4. Captures Impact of Change: RCEs measure the impact of changes to program operations and services. This can be used to test strategies for improving participant engagement or follow-through, variation in when or where services are provided, different communications and messaging strategies, or different ways of providing services.

Learn about other evaluation models here.

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