This June, the University of Maryland School of Public Policy (SPP) collaborated with the College of Public Policy (CPP) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) to deliver a joint executive course on program evaluation, which is one of the first program evaluation courses offered in Qatar. The three-day executive course, titled “Program Evaluation: Determining What Works”, is the first joint project between UMD and CPP following the signing of a five-year memorandum of understanding. The course was delivered online from June 28-30, and each participant received a joint certificate of completion from UMD and HBKU.
The course combined the expertise of the two educational institutions to help practitioners and policy managers navigate an increasingly evaluation-oriented world and become more effective leaders and managers. Government officials from Qatar’s Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Islamic Affairs and the University of Calgary in Qatar were among the course participants.
“Sound evaluations are critical for effective program delivery and governance, enabling informed judgments and continuous improvements in program design and planning to help attain development goals,” CPP associate professor Anis Ben Brik added. “The resoundingly positive response to our first joint course with UMD affirms that there is a demand for such world-class training opportunities and this is in keeping with CPP’s intent to build the skills needed to contribute to sound policy making in Qatar, the region, and the globe.”
Brik, SPP professor Douglas Besharov, and top experts from the American Institutes for Research and Mathematica Policy Research shared their vast collective experience in designing and implementing evaluations of economic, health, and education programs. The highly specialized course was tailored to fit participants’ interests with case studies from the Middle East region, focusing on topics such as logic models, process and developmental evaluation, randomized control trials, quasi-experimental methods, and performance evaluation.
“This course is the latest example of how the combined efforts of HBKU and UMD have enriched the offerings of both schools to the benefit of both our communities,” says Besharov. “We look forward to continued cooperation in this and other areas.”