Another way of checking if results match the program theory is to use a comparative case study. Comparative case studies can be useful to check variation in program implementation.
Each context and environment is different. The comparative case study can help the evaluator check whether the program theory holds for each different context and environment. If implementation differs, the reasons and results can be recorded. The opposite is also true, similar patterns across sites can increase the confidence in results.
Evaluators used a comparative case study option for the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP). The aim of this program was to expand cancer research and deliver the latest, most advanced cancer care to a greater number of Americans in the communities in which they live via community hospitals.
The evaluation examined each of the program components (listed below) at each program site. The six program components were:
The evaluators use of this option assisted in providing recommendations at the program level as well as to each specific program site.
National Cancer Institute, (2007). NCI Community Cancer Centers Program Evaluation (NCCCP). Retrieved from website: http://appliedresearch.cancer.gov/areas/qoc/ncccp/