Workshop: Impact Evaluation in Education

The IGC – BRAC workshop on Impact Evaluation of Educational policies took place at BRAC Inn on the 23rd and 24th March 2014, supported by IGC and BDI.

The goal of the workshop was to give an introduction to NGOs, research organisations, policymakers and other stakeholders on how to design evaluations, how to manage them, and what output to expect. The main objective was making participants aware of when and how to think about conducting impact assessments, and how this knowledge can help them to plan, improve and evaluate their work. As showed by the evaluation forms, all of the participants agreed that the goal of the Workshop was achieved.

The first day of this two-day workshop focused on the basics of rigorous evaluation and RCTs, plus an afternoon session on programme management. Dr Mahabub Hossain, BRAC Research Executive Director, gave an introduction speech which focused on the importance of evidence based policies and development programmes, as well as the need to diffuse rigorous evaluation methodologies.

Andrew Jenkins, Head of the BRAC Research and Evaluation Division, gave the first presentation on Monitoring and Evaluation, focusing on the Theory of Change and the theoretical framework of the effective use of evaluation and its indicators.

Dr Minhaj Mahmud, Head of Research of the BRAC Development Institute and Institute of Governance Studies, presented the second session on basic concepts of RCT, including selection bias, power calculation, and randomization units.

Finally, the first day concluded with a presentation by Rory Creedon, Project Coordinator at IPA, on Programme Management. This session focused on data and team management and an introduction to questionnaire writing and coding.

The second day of the workshop centred on the impact analysis of Rigorous Evaluation and RCTs. Professor Atonu Rabbani and Professor Ummul Ruthbah, Dhaka University, presented the fourth and fifth session respectively on RCTs’ impact analysis and non-experimental analysis.

Finally, at the end of the second day’s workshop, all of the speakers joined for a panel session on evidence based policies and rigorous evaluation. Most of the discussion and Q&A time focused on the political, ethical and technical feasibility of RCTs and the future of rigorous evaluations.

The workshop was well attended by an attentive and mixed audience of policy makers, NGO workers and local researchers who had little or no previous experience of working in RCTs.