Paris, France

Comparative Policy Analysis and Practical Program Evaluation

when 3 July 2017 - 20 July 2017
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee USD 3700

***NOTE: The application period for Summer 2017 registration is now closed. Exemptions, however, may be made for students in certain circumstances. For more information about applying or for questions about the Summer 2018 course, please contact Michael Goodhart (***

This course will cover policy analysis and program evaluation in comparative perspective. It could serve as a student’s sole (or stand-alone) course on policy analysis and program evaluation, or it could also supplement other courses on those subjects that students have taken or will take. As a comparative course, a major theme will be the conduct of policy analysis in various community and national settings, to reflect differences in governance, politics, culture, and research infrastructure.

It will focus on four steps in the policy process:

• Planning programs, including specifying the problem, selecting a theory of change, and designing programs;

• Implementing programs, including designing, conducting, and assessing implementation and process evaluations;

• Assessing program impacts, including the full range of impact evaluation methodologies (including qualitative, pre/post, comparison group, econometric, randomized experiment, and natural experiment studies); and

• Monitoring the ongoing operations of programs, including the design, implementation, and evaluation of performance measures.

Compared to many other courses, this course will spend relatively less time on how to perform regression and other econometric analyses. Instead, it will provide students with a broad understanding of the full range of impact evaluation methodologies (including qualitative, pre/post, comparison group, randomized experiment, and natural experiment studies) and the practical skills needed to assess and apply them.

A preliminary syllabus will be available on the course web page.

(Classes will be in English.)

Course leader

Douglas J. Besharov, University of Maryland, College Park (Program Director).

Target group

The course is open to all graduate and advanced undergraduate students studying public policy, public administration, and related subjects (such as education, governance, international development, political science, public health, social welfare, sociology, and urban planning).

Students must be in good academic and judicial standing. The minimum GPA for this program is 3.0 (unless otherwise approved by the program director).

Course aim

The course aims to provide students with knowledge and tools to improve their:

(1) Ability to conduct policy analyses, including being able to specify the problem, identify options, assess the options with a defined set of criteria, and provide a recommendation

(2) Ability to recognize and navigate the differences in policy analysis because of varying characteristics of governance, research infrastructure, and social and political culture.

(3) Ability to develop logic models for new programs and to assess and revise the logic models of existing programs.

(4) Ability to assess and design process evaluations.

(5) Ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of various methods of identifying the counterfactual.

(6) Ability to assess and design performance measures for on-going programs

Credits info

6 EC
Students will receive 3 credits from the University of Maryland (or 6 ECTS) upon successful completion of the course. Non-UMD students should confirm the transferability of credits with their home academic departments. (Credit conversion: 1 UMD credit = 2 ECTS)

Fee info

USD 3700: Program Fee: 3,700 USD

The program fee includes registration and administration, tuition, housing, international health insurance, course related activities, and teaching services. Students are responsible for airfare, meals, and other incidental expenses.
USD 125: Application Fee: 50 USD
Enrollment Fee: 75 USD (for non-UMD students only)


Unfortunately, no scholarships are available for this program.