Impact Evaluation

Course content

Governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector throughout the world are increasingly looking for credible evidence on whether their policies, programs and interventions work. For example, funding institutions of agri-environmental schemes; climate adaptation and mitigation, agricultural extension, marketing and commercialization, watershed management, environmental and biodiversity protection programs; and food safety and sustainability standards may require an evidence that these interventions “caused” an improvement in a set of specific outcomes such as income, consumption, productivity, health and environmental indicators.


This course covers experimental and non-experimental impact evaluation methods such as randomized controlled trials, difference-in-differences, regression discontinuity design, instrumental variable approach, and matching methods. The course will emphasize on the challenges involved in designing, identifying and analyzing causal relationship between a program or an intervention and its outcomes while providing students with a practical experience on evaluating programs using existing data and designing impact evaluation proposals.


MSc Programme in Agricultural Economics
MSc Programme in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
MSc Programme in Enviroment and Development


Learning outcome

The main objective of this course is to provide students with causal inference tools for analyzing the impact of programs or interventions. Upon having completed this course, the student is expected to be able to:


  • Understand the concept of impact evaluation, causal inference and theory of change
  • Understand an overview of the state-of-the-art causal identification methods



  • Demonstrate skills in replicating and reviewing published impact evaluation studies
  • Design impact evaluation studies, construct a valid counterfactual for causal inference in both randomized and observational settings



  • Manage and evaluate relevant programs or interventions

Lectures, group-based practical exercises and assignments

Gertler, P. J., Martinez, S., Premand, P., Rawlings, L. B., & Vermeersch, C. M. (2016). Impact evaluation in practice. World Bank Publications.

Selected scientific journal articles (a literature list will be announced at the beginning of the course)

Courses in statistics and econometrics at the bachelor level
Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, made during the block
Oral examination, 20 minutes. No preparation
Type of assessment details
(i) Group term paper/essay written during the course (50% of the final grade)

(ii) Individual oral examination (20 minutes, no preparation) based on course curriculum and the group term paper (50% of the final grade).

Students should submit a group term paper in order to attend the oral exam. Students must pass both the oral and term paper examinations individually to pass the overall exam.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Two internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

Top grades are given to students fulfilling requirements listed in the description of course goals.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 33
  • Preparation
  • 89
  • Practical exercises
  • 24
  • Project work
  • 60
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 4
No limits
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Natural Resources, Environment and Animal Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinators
  • Dagim Belay   (3-747772507976827f3e7b853e747b)
  • Goytom Abraha Kahsay   (6-69717b76716f426b687471306d7730666d)

Dagim Belay
Goytom Abraha Kahsay

Saved on the 28-02-2023

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students