Into the void: a realist evaluation of the eGovernment for You (EGOV4U) project

Horrocks, Ivan and Budd, Leslie (2015). Into the void: a realist evaluation of the eGovernment for You (EGOV4U) project. Evaluation, 21(1) pp. 47–64.



e-government for You’ (EGOV4U) was a European Commission (EC) funded project developed to pilot models of multi-channel, public and community e-services designed to tackle social exclusion and disadvantage through a range of initiatives delivered by five project partners from a variety of European countries. The project evaluation employed a theory-driven approach and the use of mixed methods for data capture and analysis. In this article we combine this with a form of mechanistic explanation that has been specifically developed for realist evaluation: namely the context + mechanism = outcome (CMO) approach. Our contention is that by so doing we further enhance the analytical focus and granularity of the evaluation process and thus the material we present here. This article aims to make use of previously unused material from the EGOV4U evaluation, and provide a realist insight into what works, for whom, in what circumstances and why.

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