The Matching Q-M tool

The Matching Q-M tool (the Matching policy and practice Questions to Methodological approaches tool) connects two critical parts of evidence support systems:

  1. converting a decision-making need into a specific type of question
  2. having identified the type of question, providing the most suitable methodological approaches to address that question.

Regardless of your specific need, click on any of the four stages in this interactive image to see more details relevant to your evidence-support needs.

Each decision-making stage includes different goals that may need to be achieved (14 in total), and each goal includes multiple types of question that may be addressed (42 in total).

This tool was created using a demand-driven approach asking the questions that multiple evidence-support units have answered to decision-makers, and by conducting a Delphi to prioritize the most suitable methodological approaches.

See a description of the full list of methodological approaches that are included in the Matching Q-M tool.

A few considerations to take into account while using the Matching Q-M tool:

  1. While this tool is built following a logical path (i.e., from the problem, through the options, up to implementation and evaluation), it doesn’t mean that a given issue will bring actors to go to every single stage. Please pick up the stage, goal and question that is most relevant to your specific needs.
  2. Questions or decision-making needs can arise from issues created in other stages. For example, problems can also arise from issues created in other stages of the policy cycle (e.g., no feasible option is available, an implementation strategy is able to address a barrier, or the option has not had the impact that it should have had or its impact have failed to be sustained). In these cases, please consider the new problem arising and identify a question that could match this issue in the corresponding stage.
  3. There might be cases when a decision maker could ask a bunch of different iterative questions that would take the form of different types of questions presented here. In these cases, please pick up the stage, goal and questions in an iterative way.
  4. The Matching Q-M tool is organized around questions and not the results that research answering these questions could have. Hence, since they are essentially an assessment of the answer of a specific type of question, we considered questions such as “What are the evidence gaps or the methodological limitations of the existing evidence for a given topic?” out of the scope.
  5. There are several types of question that are addressed by building on other complex frameworks (e.g., agenda setting of a policy issue, chances of a policy to be developed looking at institutions, interests and ideas or the political economy; or the external validity of a given body of evidence). These questions are important, and several types of questions from the taxonomy could contribute to conducting an assessment in these complex frameworks.
  6. Depending on different areas of expertise, alternative terms that different disciplines use for the same study design are included in parentheses (e.g., a longitudinal study for epidemiologists may also be called a panel study for economists).