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Syllabus: Online Course on Applied Impact Evaluation Methods


1.  Introduction

The Online Course on Applied Impact Evaluation Methods covers conceptual and empirical issues related to the identification and estimation of causal effects in the context of the evaluation of social programs and public policies. The course is designed for applied researchers interested in learning about modern impact evaluation techniques and improving their capacity to apply these skills in the field. As such, the course includes an important empirical portion devoted to the implementation of these techniques in Stata.

Familiarity with basic econometrics and statistics, a core understanding of impact evaluation techniques, and access to a recent version of Stata is required.


2.  Program Outline

Section 1: Introduction to Stata

1.1       Stata for Absolute Beginners

1.2       Stata Basics

1.3       Review of Regression Analysis

Section 2: Impact Evaluation Methods

2.1       Causal Inference

2.2       Randomized Assignment

2.3       Randomized Promotion

2.4       Regression Design Discontinuity

2.5       Difference-in-Differences Design

2.6       Power Analysis and Sample Design

Section 3: Field Methods

3.1     Questionnaire Design

3.2       Field Organization and Survey Management

3.3       Quality Assurance and Data Management

3.4       Transparency and Reproducibility


3.  Expectations

Students are expected to cover all the materials for every section. In particular, for each module, you are expected to read the learning guide, watch the videos, following along in Stata on your own computer, and complete the quizzes.


4.  Timeline

You can take the course at your own pace.  However, we recommend to take one module per week, thus the entire course should be completed in around 3 months.  If you are currently enrolled in school, we recommend you finish the course within an school semester. 


5.  Contributors

Applied Impact Evaluation is one of several outputs of the Berkeley-IDB Impact Evaluation Collaborative, a partnership between CEGA and the Inter-American Development Bank to promote and institutionalize the role of impact evaluation in policymaking. 

The development of the course was led by CEGA's Global Networks Director Alexandra Orsola-Vidal, under the guidance of Professor Paul Gertler and Sebastian Martinez. Key contributors to the content of this course include Sistemas Integrales, Stanislao Maldonado, Sumeet Patil, Brian Giera, Ben Arnold, Garret Christensen and Temina Madon.  Invaluable support was also provided by Jen Sturdy, Malena Arcidiacono, Sree Sen, David Topper, Cameron Breslin and Julianne Baker-Gallegos.