Spring 2017 - 61290 - PA188G - Topics in Global Policy Studies

Experimental Methods for Impact Evaluations

This class meets February 24 through March 31.

This five-week course will provide an introduction to experimental methods used in impact evaluations, with an emphasis on international development and peacebuilding. The course will consider the basic methodology of experiments, including randomization, intervention, measurement, and inference with an emphasis on how these factors are included in experimental impact evaluations. A project will be required and will entail the identification of a possible development or peacebuilding intervention (or otherwise as approved), the development of a theory of change for the intervention, and the design of an experiment or quasi-experiment to evaluate the intervention.

Course Objectives

Students who complete this course successfully should:

  • Understand the key elements of experiments, including randomization, intervention, measurement, and inference;
  • Understand how to develop an experimental or quasi-experimental design that could be used to evaluate a program intervention;
  • Prepare an application to the institutional review board that seeks approval for a proposed evaluation.

Assignments and Grading

Evaluations will consider the following elements (with weights included):

Evaluation Prospectus                                                           5%

Experimental Evaluation Design / Mock Report                50%

Institutional Review Board Application                             20%

Participation                                                                       25%


All articles will be available online through blackboard or journal websites.

SRH 3.212/221; Class meets February 24 through March 31