Impact evaluation course for industrial policy-makers

by Khotso Tsotsotso

Background
Industrial and trade policies are often used by governments to promote specific outcomes such as competitiveness, jobs, and investment. In order to justify these, often expensive, interventions policy-makers need to know whether they work, and to improve their efficacy they need to know how they work and the mechanisms through which they work. Impact evaluation can help answer these questions. An impact evaluation measures the changes in outcomes that can be attributed to a specific programme. These evaluations identify the causal effects of a programme by using the observed outcomes of groups who did not participate in the programme to estimate the counterfactual outcomes of those that did. Evaluations of industrial and trade policy are often more challenging than impact evaluations of other policies since identifying a counterfactual group can be difficult.

The Anglophone Africa Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR-AA) at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the South African Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), have thus decided to pilot a new impact evaluation course for industrial policy.

Purpose of the course
This course introduces the concept of impact evaluation and how it can be used to evaluate industrial and trade policy and thus determine the effectiveness of a programme, to inform policy development and improve programme design. It is an introduction to impact evaluation approaches including experimental and quasi-experimental methods with specific application to industrial and trade policy. The course will be non-technical in nature, but will nonetheless equip participants with knowledge and skills to commission, support and manage teams of impact evaluators.

Training Approach
Delivery of the course consists of lectures, class exercises, and group work. Many of the exercises will involve case studies using data from actual programmes that are discussed in the lectures. Participants will also have an opportunity to determine evaluation options of their own programmes. The course draws heavily on examples of successful impact evaluations of programmes and policies in trade, industrial and economic development sectors.

Target participants
The course is targeted at government officials, policy-makers, practioners, researchers and evaluators who work on industrial policy, private enterprise development and business promotion.

Learning outcomes
The aims of the course are to:
 Provide an introduction to the concepts, techniques and methods of impact evaluation which can be used in industrial policy.
 Assist participants to develop an impact evaluation framework for their specific policies or programmes.

Course content
The course will cover the following topics:
o The concept of impact evaluation and its usefulness for industrial policy.
o The ethics of evaluation and creating the right conditions for evaluation.
o Causal chains/theory of change in impact evaluation of industrial policy.
o Experimental approaches to impact evaluation of industrial policy.
o Quasi-experimental approaches to impact evaluation of industrial policy.
o Non-experimental and econometric approaches to industrial policy.
o Specific issues and data challenges in impact evaluation of industrial policy.
o Designing and commisioning impact evaluations and developing terms of references

Facilitators
Neil Rankin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch. He has widespread experience in impact evaluation including the coordination and implementation of the first large experimental evaluation of an economic policy in South Africa. This evaluation won the Poverty Reduction, Equity and Growth Network’s Best Practice Award in 2014. His research mostly focuses on trade and industrial policy and its impact on consumers and firms, including the impact of trade restrictions on consumer prices, the role of training for creating employment, tax incentives, employment and trade outcomes, and capital incentives and investment. He has substantial experience in designing, conducting and analysing enterprise and labour market surveys in over 15 African countries.

Tendai Gwatidzo is an economist and Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand. He teaches and researches in different sub-disciplines of economics, including Industrial Organization, Financial Economics and Applied Econometrics. Before joining Witwatersrand University, Tendai worked for the International Labour Organization (ILO). He holds a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe, an Masters degree in Economics from Oslo University (Norway) and a PhD in Economics from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). His research areas include applied microeconomics, economy-wide modeling, social protection, financial economics, impact evaluation and development economics.

Logistics
The course will be held at the CSIR Conference Centre in Pretoria from the 23-26 of March 2015

Registrations
Space at the workshop is limited, therefore to confirm a spot kindly confirm your participation through Ms. Varsha Harinath ( , 012 3941172) by the 20 February 2015.