This article proposes a complexity-informed framework for evaluating transportation infrastructure projects. The article does this through four steps. First, the properties of infrastructure development projects are discussed. This leads to the conclusion that the specific locality or contextualization of a given project is important for explaining the outcome. Hence, there is a need for an ontology and epistemology that addresses the importance of this contextualization. The second step concerns the development of the prerequisites for a methodological framework that follows from this epistemology and ontology. The third step is the assessment of common infrastructure evaluation methods against these prerequisites. This leads to the conclusion that a comparative case-based approach is the most suitable way to study the relationship between context and outcomes in projects. A framework based on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is presented in the fourth step. The article concludes with a discussion of the further development of QCA.

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Evaluation: international journal of theory, research and practice
Erasmus School of Economics

Verweij, S., & Gerrits, L. (2013). Understanding and researching complexity with Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Evaluating transportation infrastructure projects. Evaluation: international journal of theory, research and practice, 19(1), 40–55. doi:10.1177/1356389012470682