Evaluating Social Programmes 2023

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Evaluating Social Programmes (ESP) 2023 is a six-day course that explores why and how randomised evaluations can be used to rigorously measure impact for better development outcomes. The course explores methods and considerations for their design and implementation, and how findings can inform evidence-based policies and programmes. Applications are due by March 5, 2023 at 11.59pm IST. 

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About the Course 

CLEAR/J-PAL South Asia is offering an online training course 'Evaluating Social Programmes'. Modelled after our in-person course, Executive Education: Evaluating Social Programmes, this six-day virtual training programme is designed to provide development practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and students with a thorough understanding of randomised evaluations and how they can be used to rigorously measure impact and inform policy. 

This online course offers participants a clear introduction to the merits of conducting randomised evaluations of social programmes, when researchers and policymakers might choose to conduct them, and how these evaluations are designed in real-world settings. 

ESP 2023 will be led by J-PAL affiliated professors and senior CLEAR/J-PAL South Asia staff. Lectures will be supplemented by group discussions of context-specific case studies led by CLEAR/J-PAL South Asia staff, providing participants opportunities to forge connections with peers. Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss their own work and their learning from ESP 2023 with senior members of the CLEAR/J-PAL South Asia team through office hours. 

View the agenda to determine the applicability of this course to your learning needs.

Who can apply? 

This course is designed for mid- to senior-level practitioners and researchers at international/local development organisations, foundations/donor organisations, government and non-governmental organisations, as well as students. However, early-career professionals are also welcome to apply.

Please note that the level of this course is Intermediate, meaning participants should have some basic familiarity with program monitoring and evaluation, economics, and statistics.

Only individuals working or studying in South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka) are eligible to apply to this online training course. Interested individuals in Pakistan are encouraged to apply to the Evidence-Based Program Design workshop organised by the Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP). 

The deadline for applications is March 5, 2023, 11:59PM IST. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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Course Focus

Participants can expect to:

  • Develop a foundational toolkit for measuring impact that includes needs assessments, logical frameworks, and theories of change;
  • Gain a clear understanding of why and when a rigorous evaluation of social impact is needed and how randomised evaluations are designed in real-world settings;
  • Gain insight on threats to the validity of experiments, determining the appropriate sample size, and interpreting results;
  • Learn strategies to maximise policy impact and assess the generalizability of research findings; and
  • Join a community of practice with other decision-makers who can provide support in the design and use of impact evaluations.

Q&A Session

In case you missed this session, watch the recording here.

J-PAL South Asia is hosting a virtual Q&A session on 8 February 2023 between 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM IST.

Through this session, participants can learn more about

  • Course content
  • Suitability for this course
  • Selection criteria for applicants

Interested applicants will have an opportunity to ask questions before they submit applications. 


CLEAR/J-PAL South Asia is offering one scholarship spot for student applicants to attend ESP 2023. The scholarship consists of a full fee waiver and is open to individuals who are currently enrolled in full-time undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral studies. 

Student applicants are requested to indicate their academic affiliation in the application form form. Other student candidates who might be accepted to the course (without the scholarship) are welcome to attend the course with a fee of INR 20,000.

Apply here. The deadline for applications is March 5, 2023, 11:59 PM IST

Fee Structure

The fee structure for ESP 2023 is as follows:

Organisation Type High income countries Low income countries
For-profit / Foundation / Multilateral INR 40,000 INR 30,000
Academic / Research Institute INR 35,000 INR 25,000
Government INR 35,000 INR 20,000
Graduate Student INR 35,000 INR 20,000
NGO INR 35,000 INR 20,000

Please refer to World Bank Income Groups for income classification. Note that two accepted participants from the same organisation are eligible for a 10 percent discount on their total fee.

For further information or assistance, please contact Bhakti Bhowmik ([email protected]).