Introduction to Impact Evaluation of Policies and Programmes

Course Description:

In this course you will learn how to conduct a rigorous impact evaluation of a development policy, program or intervention. The course aims to enable participants to understand how to quantify the causal effect of interventions by carefully understanding attribution and the practical applications of methodologies. The course takes you through several steps of conceptualising an evaluation, understanding the pathways of change, understanding the different methodologies for conducting impact evaluation and choosing the most appropriate methodology given the set of circumstances. You will be introduced to the quantitative techniques of impact evaluation and learn about their weaknesses and strengths and appropriateness to real life evaluation scenarios. 

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:

  • Theory of change
  • Understanding the counterfactual
  • Choosing an impact evaluation design and how to execute

Learning Goals:

  • Having knowledge of:
    • The pathways of change underlying the causal relationship
      (linking the intervention to the outcomes)
    • Randomised designs and quasi-experimental designs
    • Software code that can be applied in analysis
  • Understanding:
    • How to formulate evaluation questions
    • How to choose a good comparison group that approximates the counterfactual given real-life scenarios
    • The strengths and weaknesses of each methodology and when to choose each methodology


A Master degree (or equivalent) in Social Sciences.

**Please note that the course is an introduction to impact evaluations. It 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. The online course “Impact Evaluation of Policies and Programs Estimation and Analysis of Causal Impacts” is designed as follow up of this course and does offer exercises in how to do an econometric impact evaluation.

Course completion and estimated workload: 

The course is completed once you fulfill the course requirements and pass the assignments and oral exam. 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: 500 euro 
Individual participation: 600 euro 

Duration: 10 weeks 

Upon registration, you will be enrolled for 10 weeks, including 1 week to access the platform and become familiar with the materials, 4 weeks of coursework, 1 week to submit the final assignment and 2 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 (only for Individual participation). 

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

James Ochieng - Participant

The course is well-designed to give students and researchers a strong background on impact evaluation methodologies and their practical applications. The weekly interactions with the lecturers during the Q & A sessions were so beneficial in terms of getting a deeper understanding of the concepts. The Lecturer (Christian Nota) was always patient with the students and ensured that the concepts were well understood. The course has been quite beneficial to me as a researcher.
James Ochieng, KIPPRA, Kenya

Mathew Muma - Participant

I really enjoyed, the Q&A sessions where we clarified our understandings of the modules and asked clarifications of certain concepts. It was really interesting! Lets continue with it soon!.
Mathew Muma, KIPPRA, Kenya

Kiriga Benson - Participant

I have really enjoyed the training on "Introduction to Impact Evaluation" course that was quite inspiring. It was an eye opener on what impact evaluation is all about, the several evaluation designs and numerous technical terms and definitions required for that field. The reference materials shared were quite instrumental and elaborate and I gained more skills from them. Finally, the tutorials were offered with high expertise and were of utmost importance in deepening the knowledge and thinking outside the box
Kiriga Benson, KIPPRA, Kenya