Impact Evaluation Summer School


The World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation team, the European Union (EU) and Rwanda’s Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) are working to promote evidence-driven agricultural policy-making in Rwanda. The World Bank-MINAGRI-EU partnership seeks to increase the use of high-quality data and evidence in the agricultural sector, from policy design to implementation, and scale up/down decisions. The impact evaluations conducted under this partnership respond to MINAGRI’s strategy. As such, the partnership offers a flexible instrument to accumulate learning to increase program impact and to adapt to emerging needs. In addition to supporting rigorous evaluations, the partnership also aims to build sector-wide capacity in using, designing, and implementing impact evaluations.

Towards this end, the partnership worked with the University of Rwanda (UR) to deliver the Impact Evaluation Summer School at the University’s Huye Campus from August 13-22. The program was attended by 37 Masters and PhD students from across UR’s campuses. The course was fully funded for all students, through the support of the EU, and was delivered by World Bank - DIME staff and research partners from the University of California, Berkeley. It included lectures, group discussions and lab-work developed to build students’ knowledge of the impact evaluation toolbox.

 


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Specifically, the course covered the theoretical underpinnings of causal inference, and provided hands-on tutorials on data analysis and survey design. Evaluation methods were covered in the first two days with the rest of the program devoted to computer lab sessions, led by a team of DIME Research Assistants involved in the Rwanda research portfolio. In addition, students spent a full day working on a real-world IE – applying the theory and software skills they had learnt during the course to a case study. Teams of students then presented their group-work and received comments from their fellow-classmates and from a panel of judges. Students were assessed based on participation in lectures and group discussions, overall engagement with the materials, a written test and the quality of the group presentation.  The top nine students were awarded certificates of excellence on the final day of the program and are being connected to potential employers, including international organizations and local research-focused NGOs that are looking to hire staff with IE expertise. These institutions include the Delegation of the European Union to Rwanda, the World Bank, the World Food Programme, Innovations for Poverty Action, One Acre Fund, and Laterite.