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Programme Evaluation in Development


Credits: 4 ECTS

First semester

Elective Courses




Programme evaluations are an area of increasing importance in the field of international development cooperation. The course will introduce students to the major methodological choices and practical challenges often faced by development practitioners when implementing these evaluations.

The course will start with the 'politics' of programme evaluation, focusing on normative questions, such as 'who decides what gets evaluated and what results get disseminated?', and the institutional obstacles encountered by many aid agencies when they started to strengthen their internal evaluation capacities in the past years. The second and main part of the course will review strengths and weaknesses of alternative methods and tools used in programme evaluations, including focus groups, surveys, experimental methods, and process tracing studies. The last section will discuss specific challenges and solutions for programme evaluations and data collection in humanitarian settings, an area of increasing importance for development agencies. The course’s method of instruction will be practice- and case-study based with a focus on the feasibility and value-added of different evaluation approaches for specific programme contexts and evaluation purposes.

The course will be complemented by other compulsory and elective courses including on research design and methods (first and second semester) and a specialized course on experimental evaluation methods (second semester).


The course will be evaluated as follows:

  • Class participation: 30%

This is a practice- and case study-based course and students are expected to have read the course materials ahead of class. We will only have short introductory lectures, followed by in class-discussions and seminars. This format only works when students participate actively in class.

  • In class presentation: 30%

Each student will give a ten minute in-class presentation and animate the discussion on a reading or question related to the week’s seminar content. Presentation topics will be distributed in class in the first week of the course.

  • Programme evaluation Case Study 40%

Each student will develop a proposed evaluation design for a programme of their choice (students will be presented with a set of examples to choose from). The assignment will consist of an in-class presentation (20% of the total course grade) and a written project (20% of the total course grade).

The penalty for late submission of coursework is 0.5/10.00 per 24 hours. If you foresee a reason for late submission please contact the course teacher as soon as possible prior to the due date.