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Impact Evaluations Online Only Edition


About This Unit:

Rigorous impact evaluation methods are the most reliable way to establish a causal link between a program and its outcomes – information that is highly useful to policymakers.

This unit will help you:

  • Understand the role of impact evaluation in the policy decision-making process
  • Explain how impact evaluations estimate impacts of social programs.
  • Explain the meaning and importance of the “counterfactual” in evaluations.
  • To critically assess the strength of an impact evaluation and the relevance for your current context


  • Some familiarity with the policy realm
  • Some familiarity with basic statistics (comfort with basic math and familiarity with basic statistical terminology, like “mean” and “sample”)
  • English language proficiency

About Evidence for Policy Design

The Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School uses analytical insights, drawn from economics and backed by rigorous evidence, to inform the design and implementation of public policies and programs around the world. To learn more about EPoD, please visit us at and follow @EPoDHarvard on Twitter.

About Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE)

This unit was developed through the EPoD Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence: Data and Evidence for Smart Policy Design (BCURE) project, a multi-year engagement to build technical and institutional capacity to integrate data and research evidence into policy decision making, focusing on South Asia. The development of this unit was funded by UK aid from the UK government; however, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.

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    Private enrollment, self-paced
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