The USAID-funded MEASURE Evaluation project is hosting a series of webinar discussions of the popular MEASURE Evaluation manual, How Do We Know If a Program Made a Difference? A Guide to Statistical Methods for Program Impact Evaluation (Lance P, Guilkey D, Hattori A, Angeles G, 2014). Each webinar in the series reviews key topics from a chapter through verbal discussion and graphical presentation. The webinar series will enable participants to understand the resources offered in the manual—a learning tool for use of methods to estimate program impact. The series also provides stand-alone training tools for the topics covered. MEASURE Evaluation’s goal with these webinars is to provide a highly interactive learning opportunity to participants (please ask questions!).
The fourth webinar in the series, “Within Estimators,” will take place December 15 at 10am EST. This webinar will consider impact evaluation estimation methods applicable when an unobservable somehow fixed across multiple observations is the only unobservable influencing both program participation and the outcome of interest. These methods require that we have multiple or repeated measures across the units of observation sharing a draw for that fixed unobservable. For instance, if the unit of observation is the individual, we might think of the fixed factor guiding program participation and the outcome as something like motivation (which is unlikely to change much over reasonably spaced intervals of time) and we might observe each individual at multiple points in time. Within models offer ways of recovering unbiased estimates of program impact in this setting.
The first webinar in the series, held March 31, was entitled “Fundamentals of Program Impact Evaluation.” It addressed the basic challenges of program impact estimation. The second webinar, held on June 29 and entitled “Randomization and Its Discontents,” considered program impact estimation based on randomization of program participation status (typically though a randomized controlled trial). The third webinar in the series, entitled “Selection on Observables” and held on September 13, considered impact evaluation methods that assumed we can observe all factors shaping both the participation decision and the outcome of interest. All of these earlier webinars can all now be viewed online. The final remaining webinar will discuss instrumental variables methods.