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, programme 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.

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

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.
**Please note that the course is an introduction to impact evaluations. It 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.

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 equivalence credits, upon the 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 500 euro
Individual participation 600 euro

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.

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.

Payment 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