Executive Seminar

When to trust the numbers: Informed consumption of quantitative research

Policies produce social outcomes but it is impossible to evaluate how well a policy generates its intended outcomes without data. Evidence based policymaking depends on policy analysis and, because the effects on the full population are what matters, anecdotes, case-studies and other non-representative samples are often misleading.  Effective policy-making and evaluation requires the ability to work with and understand rudimentary statistics but one need not be a statistician to understand which results are more credible than others.

This course trains participants in the informed consumption of quantitative research.  It is not a statistics course but rather a course on the sceptical evaluation of quantitative reports that requires no previous experience with statistics.

In this course, participants will not be enabled to develop and run statistical models themselves, but they will be qualified to evaluate reports and will develop the skills required in management positions to identify flaws in research design, violations of statistical assumptions, and other pitfalls that are often hidden in quantitative reports. Participants who complete this course will know better when – and when not - to believe the numbers.

This course can also be completed as part of the Certificate in Public Financial Management and Methods.