Evaluating Social Programs

PDF version

Evaluating Social Programs

J-PAL's flagship executive education course on the design and use of impact evaluations is tailored to the needs of policymakers, practitioners, and researchers from NGOs, governments, international development organizations, and foundations from around the world.

Person explains equations on a chalkboard
Evaluating Social Programs course, 2017. Photo: Crystel Hadley | J-PAL

This five-day, in-person training is taught primarily by J-PAL affiliated professors and is regularly offered in English and French (Africa, Europe, North America), and semi-regularly in Spanish (Latin America) and Bahasa (Indonesia). The course 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 assessement and a theory of change, and how to measure outcomes effectively: tools that are critical for all program evaluations. 

Each course includes six to eight lectures, complemented by case studies, exercises, group discussions, and time to work on developing a research project with a group of peers, all facilitated by J-PAL staff. 


Click to expand the sample course agenda below:

Example agenda of course held in Cambridge


Fees for the course vary depending on where the course is hosted:

J-PAL Global and J-PAL North America (US)

Organizations headquartered in High-income* countries Organizations headquartered in Low and lower/upper middle-income* countries
For-profit, Foundation, or Intergovernmental organization $3,500 $3,500
Academic or Research Institution $3,500 $2,500
National government $3,500 $2,500
State, county, or municipal government $2,500 $1,500
NGO (operating budget < $10M) $2,000 $1,500
NGO (operating budget > $10M) $2,500 $1,500

World Bank Income Categories

J-PAL Europe

Multinational Developed Country Developing Country
For-profit/Foundation n/a EUR 3,000 EUR 2,000
Academic/Research Institution n/a EUR 3,000 EUR 1,500
Government EUR 3,000 EUR 3,000 EUR 1,500
NGO EUR 3,000 EUR 3,000 EUR 750
Graduate student n/a see note* see note*

J-PAL Latin America

Multinational Developed Country Developing Country
For-profit/Foundation n/a USD 2,000 USD 2,000
Academic/Research Institution n/a USD 2,000 USD 500
Government USD 2,000 see note** see note**
NGO USD 2,000 USD 2,000 USD 500
Graduate student n/a see note* see note*

J-PAL South Asia/CLEAR

Multinational Developed Country Developing Country
For-profit/Foundation n/a INR 120,000 INR 60,000
Academic/Research Institution n/a INR 120,000 INR 45,000
Government INR 120,000 INR 120,000 INR 45,000
NGO INR 120,000 INR 60,000 INR 35,000
Graduate student n/a INR 60,000 INR 35,000

J-PAL Africa

Multinational Developed Country Developing Country
For-profit/Foundation USD 2,500 USD 2,500 USD 2,500
Academic/Research Institution n/a USD 2,100 USD 1,300
Government USD 2,500 USD 2,100 USD 1,000
NGO USD 2,500 USD 2,100 USD 1,000
Graduate student n/a see note* see note*

* Determined on a case-by-case basis
**Group rates: 1 person: USD 1,500; 2-3 people: USD 1,200; 4-5 people: USD 1,000; More than 5 people: USD 900