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.

Audiovisual 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.

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

4-week course, to be completed within an 8-week time period. Please note that this course starts 5 times in 2020.

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 to our “Introduction to Impact Evaluations of Policies and Programmes” course. That course contains materials on when to do an impact evaluation, what it 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 Programmes Estimation and Analysis of Causal Impacts” is designed as a follow-up to this course and 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.

Estimated Workload:
60 hrs

Course Activities:

Online lectures, online discussion board, assignments, weekly tutorial meeting to discuss readings and assignments, week Q&A moment for questions, and an oral exam.

In the group based enrollment, a strict schedule is kept, with week 1 used for registration, week 2-3-4-5 for the content units, week 6 for the assignment and exam, week 7 for study time and week 8 for resit assignment and oral exam.

In case you choose for the more flexible individual sign up, you will not be added to a tutorial group. Instead, you will receive a registration of 8 weeks, as well as four one-on-one tutorial sessions at a time convenient to you and an oral exam / resit option.

ECTS equivalent credits obtained:
Participants will receive 2 ECTS equivalent credits, upon successful completion of the course requirements, and oral exam. This certification will be offered through an online educational badge.

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

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

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

Starting date of the course:

Individual sign up, with starting date to be agreed with the tutor


Enrolment time:

Upon registration, you will be enrolled for 8 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 signed up for the individual course, please agree with your tutor on your preferred schedule during your first exchange.

Upon registration, you will be requested to pay the tuition. Please make the transfer to the following account. Upon payment, you will be registered as student, and contacted by your tutor. On average this takes 1-2 weeks.

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