Advanced Course on Program Evaluation for Natural Resource and Environmental Economists

Workshop » Advanced/Other Courses » Advanced Course on Program Evaluation for Natural Resource and Environmental Economists

04 Dec 2014 - 06 Dec 2014 Kathmandu, Nepal

The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) is organizing a three-day workshop on Program Evaluation from December 4th to 6th, 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal. This course is targeted to researchers who are working on SANDEE funded studies related to environment and development economics. The course will introduce theories as well as practical strategies for undertaking impact evaluation of natural resource and environmental programs. It will identify key issues in program evaluation and addresses methodological possibilities for drawing causal inferences as they are used in resource and environmental economics.

Why should you apply?
Evaluation of programs, be it before programs and projects are designed or after they are implemented, are increasingly viewed as a critical for learning about what works and what does not, and raising overall accountability in public policy. Unfortunately, resource and environmental economists have little or no training or guidance on how to conduct such evaluations using sound and rigorous empirical methods. This short course will expose participants to impact evaluation of programs, projects and policies (using econometrics) in the environment and development economics arena. There is a small but growing literature on application of IE methods to climate change, household energy, water and air pollution control, sanitation and hygiene, livelihoods, and forest conservation policies, including in the SANDEE research community.

What will you do?

1. We will review the what, how, and why of impact evaluation, with particular emphasis on the role of control groups, pre-&-post measurement, and covariate data to define counterfactual scenarios (including formal definition of all terms).
2. We will review detailed examples of the main methods for evaluation - randomized experiments and quasi-experiments (including natural experiments, and matching methods) - with a clear description of the pros and cons of each method.
3. We will work in groups to develop a plan for evaluating some real life projects. The emphasis will be on defining the counterfactual situation and identifying potential confounders.
4. We will do stylized evaluations in class and in evenings using STATA so we can apply the concepts.
5. Finally, we will place econometric evaluations within the broader context - how can we move beyond press-button evaluations; what do we do under time, resource and data constraints; when and where should we rely on theory-based evaluations and mixed methods to complement and/or substitute for econometric evaluations.
Participants will have to think about and articulate a solution to the evaluation problem in all three aspects of the empirical work - study design, data collection, and analysis.

Who will teach you?

• Subhrendu K. Pattanayak, Professor, Duke University, USA & Faculty Fellow, SANDEE
• Erin O Sills, Professor, NC State University, USA & Senior Associate, CIFOR
• Mani Nepal, Senior Environmental Economist, SANDEE

What should you read?

• Pattanayak, S.K. Rough guide to impact evaluation of environmental and development programs.
• Ferraro, P.J., and SK Pattanayak. 2006. "Money for Nothing? A Call for Empirical Evaluation of Biodiversity Conservation Investments". PLOS Biology 4(4): e105 (0482-0488).

The call for application is closed.

Course Announcement

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