Advanced Special Topics in Public Policy


Understanding Impact and Improving Effectiveness: Evaluation Design and Implementation

This course addresses evaluation, or the systematic investigation of the merit, worth, or significance of an initiative or program. In other words, it focuses on strategic processes to understand impact and improve efficacy. This represents an area of increasing relevance in public and non-profit sectors, often in the form of data-informed decision-making or evidence-based practice. Ultimately, this course is designed to allow student to effectively develop and utilize evaluation in a public, non-profit, or related intervention setting.

Topics covered will include, but are not limited to:

  • Purposes and rationales underlying evaluation
  • Key theories, frameworks, and models for evaluation design
  • Core steps and aspects of evaluation processes, including: theory of change and logic model development, determination of indicators, data sources and data collection, analysis, and dissemination/reporting to guiding resultant change
  • Ethical considerations and challenges in evaluation implementation
  • Practical strategies for feasibly implementing evaluation at a program or organization
  • Business and management aspects of evaluation, including developing associated scopes of work and budgets

Throughout the semester, students will build their knowledge in experiential manner by applying learning to a specific real-world initiative. This will allow students to gain closer understanding of how to develop and utilize evaluation in practice.

Contents and methods vary with instructors and from semester to semester. Instructor consent required.



Enroll Consent

Instructor Consent Required