Training at J-PAL Africa

The training team at J-PAL Africa holds training events to build researcher capacity to conduct randomized evaluations and policymaker capacity to use evidence from randomized evaluations effectively.

This page refers to capacity building activities undertaken by the J-PAL Africa office. To learn about J-PAL Executive Education courses elsewhere in the world, as well as online course offerings, please visit our Global training page

Building Research Capacity

Executive Education Course

This five-day course on evaluating social programmes provides a thorough understanding of randomised evaluations and pragmatic step-by-step training for conducting one’s own evaluation. The course is designed for managers and researchers from NGOs, governments, international development organizations, and foundations from around the world, as well as trained economists looking to retool. View lectures and materials from past Cape Town Executive Education courses in 2016 and 2017

The next J-PAL Executive Education Course will be announced in the coming months. 

MicroMasters Program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP)

The DEDP MicroMasters program is a collaboration between J-PAL, MIT Economics, and MITx. Through a series of six online courses, learners gain a strong foundation in microeconomics, development economics, and data analysis. Learners who receive the MicroMasters credential are eligible to apply to an accelerated Master's program at MIT. Learn more about the DEDP MicroMasters program here and MIT’s new DEDP Master’s here.

J-PAL Africa DEDP student support network

J-PAL Africa supports local African talent through the DEDP MicroMasters support network. Below are some ways that learners can engage:  

(1) J-PAL Africa DEDP student mentee programme:

J-PAL Africa will host webinars for students who plan to study further after completing the DEDP MicroMasters. Experienced MicroMasters staff and academics will provide mentees with one-on-one feedback on application materials and career guidance. We have developed two academic tracks for students: MIT  Master’s track and PhD track. Students are able to apply to the track that best fits their academic goals. 

(2) Supporting community engagement through class representatives

We have developed a system to facilitate engagement in the MicroMasters courses and build community within the student body. J-PAL will pilot a class representative system for the summer term 2020 for the following two DEDP MicroMasters courses: JPAL102x: Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations and MITx 14.310x: Data Analysis for Social Scientists. We will be running this class representative programme in Kenya and Nigeria for the Summer 2020 term. If you would like to be a class representative, please complete the following application form. Applications are due on Thursday, 4 June 2020. 

Leveraging the MicroMasters in DEDP course content

Universities may be interested in leveraging the MicroMasters in DEDP online content. If you are a representative of a university and interested in learning more about how this could be structured, please contact Aimee Hare

Building Policymaker Capacity

Evidence to Policy Courses

These customised courses aim to build the ability of policymakers and practitioners to decipher between good and bad evidence and share structured ways of thinking about when and how to use evidence from one context to inform policy in another. The courses include interactive case studies based on research from the J-PAL network in which participants work though how to apply global evidence to local challenges. View lectures and materials from our 2015 Impact Evaluation Course for Zambian policymakers and practitioners. 


Theory of Change workshops 

These customised workshops are developed for government partners with whom we are working on evidence-informed scale ups. The workshops aim to build the skills of these partners in developing theories of change and using them to inform their subsequent evaluation strategies.

For more information on training at J-PAL Africa, please contact Ashleigh Morrell.