Training in Impact Evaluation for Latin America Think Tank researchers
A new evaluation paradigm originated in academia is making inroads in policy circles in the region – there is an increasing understanding of the need to evaluate the impact of different government policies in terms of causality. However, until a few years back, most work in this field was conducted by researchers in developed countries, with academic research as its principal outcome. While Latin America has witnessed an increase in the number of impact evaluations conducted in the region and led by local researchers, many research centers still lag behind. This project develops several activities oriented to enhancing capacities for impact evaluation in the region in the context of a joint collaboration between the Centro de Estudios Distributivos Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS), at Universidad de la Plata, Argentina and Grupo de Analisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE), Peru.
Basic training course
These training courses aim to strengthen the capacities of Think Tank Initiative researchers,and other technical staff from poorer countries (researchers, government staff, etc.), and to help more experienced researchers train themselves and discuss issues at the frontier of impact evaluation research. The course will cover basic and intermediate facts about experimental and non-experimental techniques. The training will cover theoretical material in the morning and during the afternoon, existing evaluations will be replicated, providing hands-on experience.
The course will cover basic and intermediate facts about experimental and non-experimental techniques. This basic course will be offered twice.
Intermediate/Advanced training course
This course will deepen students’ understandings of the theoretical problems involved in impact evaluation, including qualitative evaluations and mixed methods, while emphasizing problems associated with practical implementation. The course will cover different evaluation techniques and theoretical lectures will be supplemented with in-depth examination of case studies that are representative of each technique. Topics to be covered include: evaluation planning, research design (experimental, quasi-experimental, qualitative, and mixed methods), data collection, and identification strategies and methods (natural experiments, encouragement designs, difference-in-difference and instrumental variable techniques). As with the basic course, there will be a hands-on component in which participants will have the opportunity to replicate evaluations with existing data sets. The course will also use a workshop format in which participants present their current projects and get feedback from selected discussants as well as from other participants and experts. This basic course will also be offered twice.
This mentoring activity represents a call for proposals for current Think Tank Initiatives grantees. Our Mentoring program looks to support TTI grantee institutions in the development of their impact evaluation studies. GRADE and CEDLAS designate an experienced researcher to provide technical support and guidance to institutions in demand of this type of services. Mentoring and support can cover projects at several stages: (i) impact evaluation studies commissioned to TTI institutions; (ii) research papers using impact evaluation techniques carried out by TTIs; (iii) design of evaluations commissioned by third parties (Governments, NGOs, etc.) to the TTIs; (iv) other non-specified technical help (questionnaire construction, sampling, etc.)
Five proposals were selected:
Evaluación del Impacto de la Alianza Público-Privada en el Empleo e Ingreso de los Hogares - FOSDEH, Honduras
Análisis de evaluabilidad de programas sociales nacionales de El Salvador - FUNDAUNGO, El Salvador
Los efectos de la introducción de la Computadora en el Aula – Evidencias del “Programa Una Laptop por Niño" - CADEP e Instituto Desarrollo, Paraguay
Diseño de evaluación de impacto del Proyecto “Atención educativa oportuna para el desarrollo integral a niños y niñas de 3 a 4 años” - Instituto Desarrollo, Paraguay
Evaluación del Impacto de los riesgos de infestación de Dengue para la articulación con los gobiernos locales - Instituto Desarrollo, Paraguay
Impact evaluation and policy influence workshop. This workshop is co-organized by CEDLAS, GRADE and CIPPEC and has received support from IDRC-Canada and 3ie. It will take place November 19, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It will bring together a group of researchers with expertise in design and development of impact evaluations in Latin America and provide a forum for researchers to share experiences and extract lessons about what works, discuss impact assessments’ influence in public policy and collaboratively develop strategies to maximize the impact of the results and findings.