$1,980 – $2,200

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Coombs Extn 1.04

8 Fellows Road

Acton, ACT 2601


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The aim of this two day course is to introduce and discuss the main issues concerning the evaluation of public policies and programs. The course reviews the potential traps associated with poor evaluation methodology, the implication of this and how traps can be overcome. The course also unpacks recent policy evaluations conducted by the convenors, discussing the method employed and potential alternatives. By focusing on a selection of case studies from recent and ongoing policy debates, this course will provide participants with the skills, knowledge and confidence to answer the following questions:

  • What are the potential limitations with the existing data and how can I best use these data to evaluate and support current policy frameworks and debates?
  • What are the ways in which I can minimise bias and errors to produce robust empirical evidence?
  • What are the different techniques for comparing the costs and benefits of a particular policy or program
  • How can I effectively and efficiently disseminate evidence in a way that is meaningful to policy makers and current debates?

The course is not designed to demonstrate how data are modelled. Rather the course aims to make participants fully aware of the main issues surrounding the evaluation of policies and programs, thus making them intelligent managers and consumers of robust empirical evidence.


The course is targeted towards those who commission, undertake or utilise empirical research as part of their role in the analysis, design or implementation of public policy. The course focuses on practice and implications rather than technical details. As such, there is no assumed knowledge for the course. There will be a number of exercises throughout the two days with participants given the opportunity to integrate their own experiences and issues into the discussion.


The course will be delivered over two days by the University’s highly regarded international experts in the evaluation of policies and programs.
Day 1: The context of evaluation

  • What is evaluation?
  • What are the different types of evaluation?
  • Does evaluation differ with respect to research and program?
  • Political context matters, why?
  • Roundtable discussion.

Methodology Part 1

  • Counterfactuals, triangulation, types of data, program logic.
  • Recognising weaknesses and using the data strengths to make informed policy decision.

Case Studies and Group Discussion

Day 2: Evaluation at work
Methodology Part 2

  • Common traps when undertaking evaluation.
  • How to overcome methodological traps.
  • How do you know whether a policy, program or procurement decision has had a causal impact or influenced a particular outcome?
  • Framing causal questions, taking account of selection biases when evaluating decisions, running impact evaluations and ensuring findings do answer important questions.
  • Economic evaluation - Cost-benefit analysis

Case Studies and Group Discussion


Professor Matthew Gray

Matthew is Director of the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, Professor of Public Policy at The Australian National University and one of Australia’s foremost social scientists. His previous appointments include Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) and Deputy Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Dr Matthew Manning

Matthew is an economist in the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods and focuses on the economics of crime and enforcement. Matthew was previously Director of Griffith University’s Social and Economic Research Program, and an economist in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.


Can’t attend on this date?

Please contact ExecEd@anuenterprise.com.au to find out about future dates and schedules, as well as to enquire about training delivery at your own premises.

Are there any Group discounts?

Group discounts are available for bulk registrations of 3 or more participants.

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellations or changes to course registrations should be provided in writing to ExecEd@anuenterprise.com.au at the earliest opportunity. Late substitution of registrants and shifting to other advertised courses is permissible but subject to approval and may incur a cost.

What is the refund policy?

Attendees are required to provide no less than 10 working days’ notice to request a full refund. No further refund will be offered once this period has expired. Participants are able to nominate another attendee from their organisation at no charge.

Is my registration/ticket transferable?

Yes, your registration is transferable to another employee at your organisation at any time prior to the day of the event. Please advise new registration details to ExecEd@anuenterprise.com.au

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Coombs Extn 1.04

8 Fellows Road

Acton, ACT 2601


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