Evaluations play an increasingly important role in the policy process. Stakeholders, including the public in general, hold expectations that governments demonstrate the results and effects of public interventions and their capacity to deliver value-for-money services. Nowadays, evaluations are often made for projects and programmes funded by super-national organisations, international organizations and donor institutions. Evaluations are also increasingly required by governments and audit institutions in many countries.
Developing the knowledge and skills to design, execute and appraise evaluations is fundamental for everyone who works in or with the government nowadays. Managers who are responsible for a project or a programme, elected civil servants who are held accountable for public policies, and auditors who review and appraise the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending are expected to understand or carry out evaluations on their own.
This course will provide the theoretical and methodological foundations for conducting evaluations. Students will learn how to evaluate projects, programmes and policies from the very design until the reporting and dissemination stages. The course will make use of several cases and examples of evaluations from various countries and regions of the world.
For more information, please see the course handbook:
Project, Programme and Policy Evaluation Handbook (pdf; 104kb)
On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:
- Understand what evaluation is and its role in the policy process
- Explain how evaluations are designed, executed and appraised
- Design evaluations and select appropriate methods to implement them
- Carry out data collection and analysis for doing evaluations
- Report and disseminate evaluations to stakeholders
This course is worth 15 credits in the UK system. 15 credits is equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.
Current SOAS students selecting this course as an open option module will not be charged the tuition-fee. For further information and assistance, please contact email@example.com
For more information, please fill out our enquiries form.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: 29 June – 17 July 2020
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
- You will have completed one year of undergraduate study at the time of joining the Academic Summer School. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
- 3 weeks
Credit assessed: £1,750
Week 1: Aims, functions and context of evaluations
- History, types and uses of evaluations
- Conceptual resources for evaluation: evaluation framework, programme theory and theory of change
- The importance of the context and of the stakeholders
Week 2: Conducting evaluations
- The design of an evaluation project
- Qualitative methods, quantitative methods and mixed methods
- Data collection and analysis
Week 3: The use of evaluations
- Evaluations in the policy process
- Reporting and disseminating evaluations
- Being an evaluator
Indicative Reading Materials:
- Athey S, and G W Imbens (2017) ‘The state of applied econometrics: Causality and policy evaluation’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2), 3-32.
- Bamberger M, J Rugh and L Mabry (2012) RealWorld Evaluation: Working Under Budget, Time, Data, and Political Constraints, Second edition, London: Sage
- Clifton J and D Diaz-Fuentes (2010) ‘Evaluating EU policies on public services: A citizens’ perspective’, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 81(2) 281–311
- Flynn, N. and Asquer, A. (2017), Public Sector Management, 7th edition. London: SAGE
- Hogwood B W and L A Gunn (1984) Policy analysis for the real world, Oxford UK: Oxford University Press
- Nigel L and L Harrington (2012) ‘The challenges to effective outcome evaluation of a national, multi-agency initiative: the experience of Sure Start’, Evaluation, 18:93.
- Osman F A (2008) ‘Health policy, programmes and system in Bangladesh: achievements and challenges’, South Asian Survey, 15(2) 263–88
- van Oudenhoven N and R Wazir (2003) ‘Replicating social programmes: approaches, strategies and conceptual issues’ UNESCO Management of Social Transformations programme (MOST) Discussion paper 18: http://www.unesco.org/most/dsp18.htm
- Palfrey C, P Thomas and C Phillips (2012) Evaluation for the real world, Bristol UK: The Policy Press.
- Roche C and L Kelly (2012) ‘The evaluation of politics and the politics of evaluation’, Birmingham University UK: Developmental Leadership Programme Background Paper No 11: www.dlprog.org
- Staffan B, E Vedung and CG Larsson (2013) ‘A Triangulation approach to impact evaluation‘, Evaluation 19: 56.
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
Teaching & Learning
Dr Alberto Asquer
50 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.
Monday - Friday 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc).
Assessment will be in the form of a group presentation (30%) and a 2,500 word essay (70%) to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course.
If you have opted to study for credit, you will be required to complete all course assessments. Should you complete the assessments with success, you will receive a transcript confirming your marks and credits. If you have not chosen to study for credit, you will be exempt from any course assignments and not receive a mark.
Credit assessed: £1,750
A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.
10% discount if you apply by 31st March
10% discount if you apply for two courses over 6 weeks
15% discount for SOAS alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)
20% discount for our partner institutions
Other discounts are available for groups. Please contact us for more information.
For more information, please see our accommodation page.
The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer six tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.
The scholarships will cover the tuition-fee for one Academic Summer School course in 2020.
Application Deadline: 2020-03-13 00:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
How to Apply
To secure your place on the Academic Summer School, please apply using our application form.
Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.
Please see our Ambassador Scholarship page for details regarding scholarship application.
Applications for the Academic Summer School close on 25th May 2020.