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Capacity Building in Impact Evaluation: Counterfactual and Theory Based Approaches


28 May 2018 to 29 May 2018


Grupotel Gran Via 678
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 678
08010  Barcelona  Spain


Public Affairs

Event Location


Event Description

Does your organisation have qualified experts who are willing and able to design, manage and monitor evaluation activities? Will you be able to ensure high quality evaluation? Will evaluation results really provide evidence for decision-making and improve policies and programmes?

This training course aims to enhance participants’ understanding of how to commission, manage and monitor evaluations. It will increase your ability to design, manage and monitor the evaluations – funded with or without EU funds – conducted by your organisation.

Two top leader experts on the topic will be with us these two days. Stephen Morris is a Professor of Evaluation in the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) at Manchester Metropolitan University and he designed studies for over 20 years for a range of different central government departments, local government and not-for-profit clients. In 2013, he co-authored a study for the European Commission, offering a practical guide for managing authorities to design and commission counterfactual impact evaluations. Bradford Rohmer on the other hand, is a Senior Analyst at Oxford Research, leading the European evaluation market. Until then, he was the Principal for EU evaluation at Coffey. Over the last 9 years he has led and contributed to many public policy evaluations and research studies, mostly for the European Commission, but also for the European Parliament and British Department for International Development.

How will it help you?
In recent years, both contracting authorities and practitioners have been learning and growing together. The EU Member States have launched and implemented evaluation capacity-building projects and today we can say that most of them have a well-developed evaluation culture. However, many challenges remain: we must still build capacity at all levels, ensure better dissemination of evaluation results and generate buy-in for the benefits of evaluation and integrate evaluation better into the policy and programming cycle so that it is actually used.

In particular, the seminar should help you understand the two most prominent approaches to evaluation today: Counterfactual (also known as experimental or quasi-experimental) approaches, and theory-based approaches. The interactive seminar will demonstrate in practical terms what counterfactual approaches can and cannot do and the conditions in which they can be used. It will also show how theory-based approaches can provide a good alternative when such conditions are not met and discuss ways in which the two approaches can be combined. After the training, you will get the slides and additional learning material to apply the new knowledge in your working life.

The main aim is not to train participants as expert practitioners, but to put them in a position where they are confident to commission and manage evaluations, understand the basics of certain tools and approaches, and are able to consider the advantages and disadvantages that justify the use of some above others. Consequently, you will be able to design briefs for (internal or external) evaluators, interact with them competently and assess the quality of their work.

Who will benefit most?
This two-day seminar is aimed at public officials from EU Member States, candidate countries, EU institutions and Agencies, Managing Authorities, auditors, consultants, staff of NGOs, and other stakeholders involved in the management of evaluation procedures for policies, programmes and projects. It is especially interesting for those working with European Funds.
There is no previous knowledge/experience required, but it surely would benefit you in the course of the seminar.


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