Workshop or Training

J-PAL Executive Education: Evaluating Social Programs, US 2018

Timeline:
June 11, 2018 to June 15, 2018
Location:
MIT Cambridge, MA, USA

Program Objectives 

This five-day in-person training gives participants a thorough understanding of why and when researchers and policymakers might choose to conduct randomized evaluations and how randomized evaluations are designed in real-world settings. The course covers basic concepts related to measuring impact through randomized evaluations and discusses technical design choices as well as pragmatic considerations when conducting a randomized study. It reviews the benefits and methods of randomization, how to choose an appropriate sample size, and common threats and pitfalls to the validity of an experiment. It also covers the importance of a needs assessment and a theory of change, and how to measure outcomes effectivelytools that are critical for all program evaluations.

Program Focus

The following key questions and concepts are covered:  

  • What is an evaluation?
  • Why and when is a rigorous evaluation of social impact needed?
  • The common pitfalls of evaluations and how randomization helps avoid them.
  • The key components of a good randomized evaluation design.
  • Alternative techniques for incorporating randomization into project design.
  • How do you determine the appropriate sample size, measure outcomes, and manage data?
  • Guarding against threats that may undermine the integrity of the results.
  • Techniques for the analysis and interpretation of results.
  • How to maximize policy impact and test external validity.
  • Understanding and using the Theory of Change framework.

Target Audience 

The course is designed for directors, managers, officers, and researchers from governments, NGOs/nonprofits, international development organizations, and foundations, as well as trained economists looking to retool.

Former participants say:

“Great opportunity to design and receive feedback on our own evaluations.”

“Really enjoyed the teaching methods. The initial exposure to case studies was then solidified through lectures and small group work. The constant interaction kept students engaged throughout.”

“I enjoyed this training very much and thought the experience was excellent. I still am buzzing whenever I speak about it. There were many wonderful aspects: the working groups, the quality of the other students, the quality of the TAs and the seriousness and dedication of the training effort. It was absolutely first-class.”

Key Information

Dates: 11 – 15 June 2018 
Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
United States
Contact: Tom Bangura, training@povertyactionlab.org 
  

The April 15th application deadline for this course is now closed. Moving forward, only privately sponsored applications are welcomed to fill their application form here

You can view the fee structure for the course. The fee includes breakfast, lunch, beverages, and snacks, as well as a group dinner. It does not include travel or accommodation.