Program Evaluation and Applied Policy Analysis
This course is designed to help students learn the concepts of program evaluation while they apply them to projects with real-world clients. Course topics include the preparation of policy analyses, evaluation methodologies for identifying the counterfactual, assessment of causal validity in research publications, and methods for synthesizing research.
Students will prepare either a policy analysis or research synthesis for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or a similar agency or organization located in or near Paris. The students will work with their clients while in Paris, but they will plan their projects with their clients beforehand and complete their project after leaving Paris.
The project topics will initially be identified by the clients and the UMD faculty, with the final details to be worked out between the clients and the students. Possible topic areas include aging and pensions, child welfare, criminal justice, education, employment and the labor market, the environment, families and children, health, housing, migration, and social welfare generally.
Prior to arriving in Paris, students will be matched to clients and will work with them to create an initial project description, which will include a delineation of the policy question to be addressed and the scope of the project. While in Paris, besides attending classes, students will prepare and present project plans to their clients (and others) and make site visits to international organizations that conduct similar policy-oriented research. After leaving Paris, students will complete their projects, interacting with their clients as needed. Final projects will be due at the end of August.