Impact Evaluation of Policies and Programmes: Estimation and Analysis of Causal Impacts

Course Description:

Impact evaluations have become routine elements of programme implementation due to their ability to build accountability and learning for policymakers, non-governmental organisations, donors and affected populations. Conducting impact evaluations in the real world can be a difficult process and may require a blend of techniques to obtain impact estimates. This course builds upon the introductory course on impact evaluation and provides a hands-on approach to estimating and analysing causal impacts using various techniques. These include randomised control trials and designs, regression discontinuity design, difference in differences, propensity score matching and instrumental variables method. Students will learn how to conduct an in-depth econometric estimation/analysis of causal impacts. 

Audio-visual lessons will be provided together with datasets and step-by-step analysis guides to using various impact evaluation techniques in Stata software. Lessons and case studies will give participants a knowledge base to help them understand the applicability of methods to a given set of circumstances. The final assignment/exam, will put the student’s newly acquired skills to the test by presenting her/him with a dataset and the task to perform a mock impact evaluation. Interested students should have intermediate knowledge of statistical analyses or econometrics. For example, they should already know how to obtain descriptive statistics, conduct t-tests and basic regression analysis. They should also be familiar with the Stata data processing and data analysis software. The course will offer online lectures, online discussion boards, assignments, weekly tutorial meetings to discuss readings and assignments, and an oral exam at the end of the course. 

Key Concepts:

  • Estimation of causal impacts
  • Conducting validity tests and sensitivity analyses
  • Using Stata for analysis

Learning Goals

  • Having knowledge of:
    • How to execute randomised and quasi-experimental impact estimations
    • Software code for data analysis
  • Understanding:
    • How to identify causal estimates of impacts through various techniques
    • How to assess robustness and validity of each technique


A Master degree (or equivalent) in Social Sciences. Knowledge in econometric analysis. Basic understanding of impact evaluation purposes and methods.

**Please note that the course is a follow up of our “Introduction to impact evaluations of policies and Programmes” course. That course contains materials on when to do an impact evaluation, what is allows you to conclude, and what forms of evaluation exist. It does not include materials or exercises in which you will do an impact evaluation yourself. In this online course “Impact Evaluation of Policies and Programs Estimation and Analysis of Causal Impacts” we designed as follow up which offers exercises in how to do an econometric impact evaluation. In case you lack basic understanding of what an impact analysis is or how to interpret impact analysis outcome data, we recommend you to take the introduction course first.

Course completion and estimated workload: 

The course is completed once you fulfill the course requirements and pass the assignments. Your coursebook will also include the explanation of resit options.  

The estimated workload is 60 hours, including 10-15 hours per week and 10-15 hours per assignments/oral exam. 

ECTS equivalence: 2 

Participants will receive 2 ECTS equivalence credits and the certification will be offered through an online educational badge. 


Group based participation EUR 500,-
Individual participation EUR 600,-

Duration: 10 weeks 

You will be enrolled for 10 weeks, including 1 week to access the platform and become familiar with the materials, 4 weeks of coursework, 2 weeks to submit the last assignment and 3 weeks for potential resit time. 

In case you prefer to use the 10 weeks in a different way, please agree with your tutor during your first exchange. 

Starting date and enrolment: 

Deadline Application  Course Start Date 
4 September  18 September 
30 October  13 November 
15 January  12 February 
1 April  15 April 
3 June  17 June 


Upon a successful enrollment, every participant will start the course on immediately after the acquisition of the course materials. Your tutor will reach out to you to agree on a timeline.  

For group participation, please note that we will close the group registrations at 10 participants, based on first paid first serve rule. We will identify the full groups on the application website. 

For individual participation, please agree with your tutor on your preferred schedule during your first exchange. 


You can register for the certificate programme via the application form by clicking on the “Apply Now” button on the right side of this page.


To pay the tuition fee, please make the transfer to the following account. Upon payment, you will be registered as a student and contacted by your tutor. Please note that we need to receive the payment by the application deadline. On average, it takes 1-2 weeks between your transfer of funds and us receiving it. 

Bank account no. 
IBAN  NL05 INGB 0657 618705 
Swift or BIC code  INGBNL2A 
Beneficiary  Maastricht University 
Bank name  ING Business Banking 
Bank address  P.O. Box 90153 
  5600 RE  Eindhoven 
  The Netherlands 
Payment specification  your last name and 45320002001N 

Download the coursebook

Required Readings:

The cost of the course does not include expenses for books or hardcopies of the course material. Course materials can all be downloaded by the participant him/herself.

Lorena Giuberti Coutinho ‐ Course tutor

Tutoring to working professionals is a very enriching task, as students are always seeking to bridge practical situations from their daily lives to theory.

Lorena Giuberti Coutinho, UNU-MERIT