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How to evaluate: a short introduction to impact evaluation and counterfactuals – 3rd November 2023

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A short workshop from What Works Growth to support policy makers deliver high quality evaluations.

A 2-hour workshop designed to help policy makers working in local economic growth understand impact evaluation.

Undertaking impact evaluation of policies is central to understanding ‘what works’ and can help improve future policymaking.

This course is an introduction to evaluation aimed at policy makers from combined authorities and local authorities within a devolution deal area. For those considering running a trial, looking to commission a consultant to evaluate a project’s impact, or just want to understand the findings from previous impact evaluations, this is a short overview to impact evaluation. This course focuses on counterfactuals and common pitfalls, and complements our training on Making use of logic models and Developing good evaluation questions

By the end of the training, attendees will:

  • Understand what impact evaluation is, the common issues around conducting it and how to overcome them.
  • Feel more confident commissioning an impact evaluation and selecting contrafactuals.
  • Be able to make the case to others about why and how impact evaluation is valuable.

What sort of training is this?

  • It is a short interactive workshop with a mix of presentations and practical exercises to review evaluation concepts, reflect on pitfalls and think on contrafactuals.

Who should attend?

  • Policymakers in combined authorities and local authorities within a devolution deal area who have no or limited experience of impact evaluation.
  • If you are thinking of running a trial or commissioning an evaluation, the course will provide useful information to help you with the process.

How do I prepare?

  • No prep work is required, but we recommend that you think about a project or programme you are interested in evaluating to reflect on during the workshop.

What happens once I’ve signed up?

  • You will receive a link to join the workshop three days in advance.
  • We will send you resources you will need for the exercises shortly before the workshop. You can access these online or print them out.
  • If you’re worried you have not received these emails, please contact

What happens after the workshop?

  • We are keen to help you implement what you’ve learned. We offer support after the course to attendees including resources you can share with colleagues; and additional tailored support.

More questions?