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Evaluating Antipoverty Programs
Martin Ravallion
Edmond D. Villani Professor of Economics
Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA
This is a series of nine graduate lectures on the evaluation of development
policies. The first few lectures will review the theory and methods of impact
evaluation. A series of case-studies will then be presented, illustrating the
methods in real-word evaluations for social policies and poor-area development
programs. A concluding lecture will look critically at the accomplishments and
challenges in evaluation going forward.
The background reading for the course is:
Ravallion, Martin “Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs,” in Handbook of
Development Economics Volume 4, edited by Paul Schultz and John Strauss,
Amsterdam: North-Holland, 2008.
Outline and reading list:
Lectures 1-3: Principles and methods of impact evaluation. These lectures
will provide an overview of the theory and methods (randomization, matching,
discontinuity designs, instrumental variables estimators).

Ravallion, Martin “Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs”
Lectures 4 and 5: Social policies. After introducing some general principles,
the lectures will discuss a series of series of case studies on specific social
policies using transfers. This will also include the use of structural models to
inform social policy making.

Ravallion, Martin, The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement and
Policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2014, Chapter 7.
Lectures 6 and 7: Poor area development. These lectures will turn to studying
the longer-term impacts of policies that try to help lagging poor areas. The bulk
of the discussion will be a case study of one such poor area program.

Shaohua Chen, Ren Mu and Martin Ravallion, “Are There Lasting Impacts
of Aid to Poor Areas?” Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 93, pp. 512-528,
2009.
Lecture 8: Trade and social protection: This lecture will discuss how better
integration of macro and micro tools can enhance evaluation, using specific trade
policy reforms as examples.

Martin Ravallion, “Looking Beyond Averages in the Trade and Poverty
Debate,” World Development 34(8): 1374-1392, 2006.
1
Lecture 9: Challenges for future evaluations. This lecture will bring together
lessons from the previous lectures, and make recommendations for making
future evaluations more policy relevant.

Martin Ravallion, “Evaluation in the Practice of Development,” World
Bank Research Observer, Spring 2009.
Lecture notes will be supplied.
Schedule
The lectures take place in Karl Borch Auditorium (NHH), each lecture lasting 90
minutes (without break).
Thursday May 29
19:00-
Informal gathering at Dråpen Vinbar
Friday May 30
09.15-10.45 Lecture 1: Principles and methods
11.00-12.30 Lecture 2: Principles and methods cont.
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-15.00 Lecture 3: Principles and methods cont.
15.00-
Social gathering
Saturday May 31
09.15-10.45 Lecture 4: Social policies.
11.00-12.30 Lecture 5: Social policies cont.
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-15.00 Lecture 6: Poor area development
15.15-16.45 Lecture 7: Poor area development cont.
17.00
A surprise….
19.00
Conference dinner at Fløien Folkerestaurant
2
Sunday June 1
Day off
Monday June 2
09.15-10.45 Lecture 8: Trade and social protection
11.00-12.30 Lecture 9: Challenges for future evaluations
12.30-13.30 Lunch and closure of course
3
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