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Summer School on Impact Evaluation

Presented by
Trinity College Dublin, Irish Aid and the Trinity Impact Evaluation Unit (TIME)
September 9, 11, 12 and 13, 2017


Trinity Impact Evaluation Unit (TIME), in conjunction with Irish Aid and Trinity College Dublin hosted their first Summer School in Impact Evaluation in September 2017. The Summer School saw participants from a variety of backgrounds participate in four days of training in quantitative and qualitative analysis with Prof. Michael King, Prof. Tara Mitchell and Prof. Gaia Narciso, as well as guest instructor Prof. Laura Camfield from the University of East Anglia.

summer school

The summer school was a unique opportunity for development practitioners, NGO personnel, and policy makers interested in acquiring the skills needed to conduct, evaluate and manage impact focused research.

The Summer School embraced mixed methods combining the quantitative expertise of TIME with international expertise in qualitative methods. Upon completion, participants were able to:

1. Understand various techniques of impact evaluation and the criteria used to select the appropriate method;
2. Understand when and how to combine mixed methods;
3. Understand the practical challenges of implementation;
4. Develop skills to design impact evaluations;
5. Acquire tools necessary to be critical of impact evaluation research.

summer school

Instructors: Prof. Laura Camfield (University of East Anglia), Prof. Michael King (TCD and TIME),
Prof. Tara Mitchell (TCD and TIME), Prof. Gaia Narciso (TCD and TIME).


Summer School Structure

The summer school took place over three days and was preceded by a one-day statistics boot-camp to help prepare participants with less quantitative backgrounds.

The course included a mix of lectures and group work. The lectures covered both experimental (e.g. randomized control trials), and non-experimental (e.g. regression discontinuity designs) quantitative methods as well as qualitative methods and the interaction between the two. Participants were involved in a group project and group presentations based on the design of a hypothetical or potential impact evaluation related to their area of expertise.

The outline of the course was as follows: