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Capacity Building in Impact Evaluation: Counterfactual and Theory Based Approaches


30 Nov 2017 to 01 Dec 2017


Global Europe

Event Location


Event Description

What is this course about? 
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. 

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, they will be able to design briefs for (internal or external) evaluators, interact with them competently and assess the quality of their work.

In particular, the seminar should help participants understand the two most prominent approaches to evaluation today: counterfactual (also known as experimental or quasi-experimental) approaches, and theory-based approaches. The 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. 

How will it help you?
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? 

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.

The seminar aims to help build capacity by offering an overview of policy, programme and project evaluation. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of two families of evaluation approaches and, through the use of practical examples, improve their skills in the design and monitoring of evaluations. As part of this, participants will receive coaching and advice from our experts on their own evaluation projects and challenges. 

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. The seminar is aimed at those working with or without European Funds.