Public Policy Analysis MPP4504


Period 2
Start Date 30 Oct 2023
End Date 22 Dec 2023
ECTS credits 8
Instruction language  English
Coordinator Eleonora Nillesen
Teaching methods Lectures; Project Based Learning 
Assessment methods Assignment
Keywords Poverty and Inequality Analysis; Impact evaluation; Evidence-based decision making


Full course description

Formulation, implementation, and evaluation of public policies are an important responsibility of modern governments. Policy objectives and instruments are determined in the interactions between public authorities and stakeholders. Actors and institutions such as branches of government (including the executive, legislative, and judiciary), political parties, interest groups, regulatory agencies, non-governmental organisations and citizens are involved in policymaking to varying degrees, depending on the particular policy domain and phase of the policy process. In this course, students will explore ways in which public policies and their impact are analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods. The results serve as a basis to formulate informed evidence-based policies, or to improve existing policies. 

The aim of this course is to provide a practical introduction to students to learn and understand how public policy is analysed and communicated. In particular, it is designed to develop the skills required to critically analyse policy issues, evaluate current programmes, and articulate relevant policy recommendations.

Course objectives

  • Assess and apply different measures and concepts of poverty and inequality
  • Explain basic concepts related to Survey Design 
  • Evaluate the advantages and limitations of impact evaluation analysis in terms of causality 
  • Select and apply experimental and non-experimental methods in their research problems 
  • Select and apply qualitative approaches used as stand-alone evaluation methods or complementary tools in impact evaluation 
  • Analyse results and translate into policy recommendations 



  • Participation in the quantitative track during periods 1a and 1b
  • Attendance of the course of Public Economics (MPP4302)
  • Attendance of the course of Public Policy (MPP4301)


Recommended reading

Gertler P., Martinez S., Premand P., Rawlings L. and C. Vermeersch (2016). Impact Evaluation in Practice, Second Edition. Washington DC: The World Bank.

Haughton J. and S. Khandker (2009). Handbook on Poverty and Inequality. Washington DC: The World Bank.

Stock, J. H. and M. W. Watson (2015), Introduction to Econometrics, Update, 3rd Edition 

Additional recommended readings for each lecture will be reported in the course manual.