Open Online Courses

Open Online Courses

Given the increase in demand for our courses, J-PAL launched a free interactive online version of its Executive Education course, Evaluating Social Programs, in 2013 with the goal of making it more accessible to people around the world.

Future offerings will include Berkeley 270D: Research Transparency and JPAL 302: Data Security.

J-PAL 101x: Evaluating Social Programs

J-PAL offers an interactive online version of its in-person Executive Education course. This is a self-paced course that covers the same material as the conventional on-site version and is hosted on MIT’s edX platform. It takes approximately four weeks to complete and a certificate is awarded upon completion of the course. This course is available to everyone free of cost.

J-PAL 102x: Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations

This course will provide step-by-step training on how to design and conduct an randomized evaluation. You will learn about why and when to conduct randomized evaluations and the key components of a well-designed randomized evaluation. In addition, this course will provide insights on how to implement your randomized evaluation in the field, including questionnaire design, piloting, quality control, data collection and management. The course will also go over common practices to ensure research transparency.

This course is part of the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP). Learn more.

J-PAL 350x: Measuring Health Outcomes in Field Surveys

Travel with our team to India and Kenya to see first-hand how rigorous health research is conducted in the field. This eight-week course will focus on the fundamentals of field-based health research with an emphasis on measuring health outcomes in low resource settings. The course will involve real world examples from on-going research studies in India and Kenya, combined with exercises to provide practical insights about study design, measurement of health outcomes and data collection, as well as the common challenges and constraints in implementing health surveys in the field. Through a series of integrated learning modules, the course will focus on topics such as:

  • Measuring individual and population health
  • Selecting health indicators, 
  • Measurement tools and selection, 
  • Questionnaire development, and
  • Ethical issues.

Case Studies and exercises will be drawn from research conducted by J-PAL affiliated professors.

JPAL350x is designed for people from a variety of backgrounds including those who are new to health research as well as managers and researchers from international development organizations, foundations, governments, and non-governmental organizations around the world.

MIT 14.73x: Challenges of Global Poverty

This course, taught by J-PAL director and co-founder Esther Duflo, is for those who are interested in the challenge posed by massive and persistent world poverty, and are hopeful that economists might have something useful to say about this challenge. The questions we will take up include: Is extreme poverty a thing of the past? What is economic life like when living under a dollar per day? Are the poor always hungry? How do we make schools work for poor citizens? How do we deal with the disease burden? Is microfinance invaluable or overrated? Without property rights, is life destined to be "nasty, brutish and short"? Should we leave economic development to the market? Should we leave economic development to non-governmental organizations (NGOs)? Does foreign aid help or hinder? Where is the best place to intervene? At the end of this course, you should have a good sense of the key questions asked by scholars interested in poverty today, and hopefully a few answers as well.

This course is part of the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP). Learn more.

MIT 14.740x: Foundations of Development Policy

In this course, we will study the different facets of human development in topics such as education, health, gender, the family, land relations, risk, informal and formal norms, public policy, and institutions. While studying each of these topics, we will delve into the following questions:

  • What determines the decisions of poor households in developing countries?
  • What constraints are poor households subject to?
  • What is the scope for policy interventions (implemented by the government, international organizations, or NGOs)?
  • What policies have been tried out? Have they been successful?

At the same time, you will discover modern empirical methods in economics, in particular randomized evaluations. Throughout the course, we will expose you to all facets of empirical projects, from experimental design and ethical issues, to data collection and data analysis.You will have the chance to gain experience working with real data using software for statistical analysis during weekly assignments.

This course is part of the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP). Learn more.

MIT 14.310x: Data Analysis for Social Scientists

This statistics and data analysis course will introduce you to the essential notions of probability and statistics. We will cover techniques in modern data analysis: estimation, regression and econometrics, prediction, experimental design, randomized control trials (and A/B testing), machine learning, and data visualization. We will illustrate these concepts with applications drawn from real world examples and frontier research. Finally, we will provide instruction for how to use the statistical package R and opportunities for students to perform self-directed empirical analyses. This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to work with data and communicate data-driven findings effectively.

This course is part of the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP). Learn more.