Policy and programme evaluation

Policy makers increasingly aim to engage in "evidence-based" policy making. They are interested in pursuing policy interventions that prove effective. But how can one deduce whether a policy intervention really achieves the intended objectives and has the desired impact? Policy and programme evaluations aim to find out just that.

This course offers an introduction to policy and programme evaluation methods. By the end of the course, students will be acquainted with evaluation frameworks, the role of theory for evaluations, several different quantitative evaluation methods, combinations with qualitative approaches, and a capacity to critically assess the aforementioned techniques. We will cover the different types of evaluation designs, such as process evaluation, impact evaluation, quasi-experiments, and randomised controlled trials. Throughout the course, we will use examples of evaluations, such as parental leave reforms and expansions of early childhood education and care services in Germany, the UK Realising Ambition programme, and others, to illustrate and practice the different methods and techniques. 


Prior knowledge of statistics up to the level of ordinary least squares regression (OLS) is assumed (covered in MPP-C5: Statistics I). Some familiarity with the statistical software package STATA is required.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.