Hungary, Budapest

Policy Evaluation for Civil Servants and NGO executives

when 18 July 2016 - 22 July 2016
duration 1 week
credits 1 ECTS
fee EUR 850

The course covers several facets and methods of public policy, with an introduction to quantitative evaluation of policy interventions. First, the interest of the students is meant to be raised with a few examples, then we place public policy in a wider web of endeavours and disciplines, and links to related fields (e.g. law, economics, sociology, political science) are shown. Then the four key elements of the policy context are discussed: institutions, actors, ideas and instruments of policy. Next, the concept of policy cycle along with limitations and alternatives is introduced. During the next lessons steps of the policy cycle process (agenda setting / policy formulation / decision / implementation / evaluation) are discussed in detail. Case studies and examples taken from the experience of different countries and addressing different public policy issues are presented to help participants relate to the approaches presented. Alternative models of policy formation are also discussed. The second half of the course is devoted to an introduction to quantitative evaluation methods. After the fundamentals and main principles of evaluations are demonstrated, the importance of random experiments is stressed. Evaluation methods using observational data (matching methods, difference-in-differences, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity) as well as the assessment of distributional and equilibrium effects of policy interventions are also demonstrated.

Anna Adamecz, Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis, Budapest, Hungary
Douglas Besharov (to be confirmed), School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, USA
Marc Gurgand (to be confirmed), Paris School of Economics, Paris, France
Gabor Kezdi, Department of Economics, Central European University, Budapest, Hung

Course leader

Balazs Varadi, Budapest Institute for Public Policy Analysis, Budapest, Hungary

Target group

The target group includes
students finishing their social science studies at an MA or MSc level and planning to enter civil service,
civil servants early in their careers, and
those working for NGO’s.

We assume no more than a first degree in one of the social sciences or law (or, as an exception, in other disciplines), but we would compose groups for group work so that students with a more advanced quantitative background (Economics or Mathematics) can use their forte.

Course aim

Aims of the course: what will you have learnt?

- You should have an appreciation for the different tasks arising around the public policy process as well as the pitfalls occurring during it.
- You should be able to communicate with colleagues and partners with different backgrounds, both domestic and international, about policy goals, alternatives and decisions,
- You should acquire a certain understanding of several methods in the toolbox of a policy analyst.
- You should, with guidance, be able to procure and judge the appropriateness of quantitative evaluation exercises on your own.

Credits info

CEU Summer University awards a certificate of attendance upon successful completion of the course. In order to gain this certificate, participants will be expected to attend and actively participate in all classes and complete assignments required by the course.

Fee info

EUR 850: An early bird fee is available until April 30, 2016
EUR 450: A reduced fee of 450 EUR ("Early Bird" fee: 350 EUR) is available for those who are employed by a small non-profit organization (annual turnover below USD 200,000) or by the government of a developing country, or for those who pay the fee themselves


A limited number of tuition waivers will be offered on a competitive basis.