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Co-Teaching Across Continents: How to Build a Short Course in Impact Evaluation

Global Networks

Credit: Emmanuel Ikwuegbu

CEGA and Makerere University Faculty Collaboratively Teach a Short Course in Impact Evaluation


In an innovative collaborative teaching model, CEGA partnered with Makerere University’s School of Public Health (MakSPH) to equip forty professionals with impact evaluation (IE) skills through a four-week online certificate course. This short course is now being scaled up to an executive course for top level decision-makers to understand the principles and benefits of IE, as well as a follow-on advanced course for researchers who regularly use IE methods.

Lead coordinator and 2019 CEGA Fellow Ronald Mulebeke remarked, “Working with Amy, Jamie, and Arman on the AIE course by the IEED project demonstrated the benefits of leveraging resources, knowledge, and experiences in a collaborative manner between Makerere University and CEGA. It provided a platform for learning and managing right from planning the course to conducting it, particularly during the student presentations.” Course instructor and 2013 CEGA Fellow Annet Adong added that participants were able to stay current with the latest research in their fields,  accessing resources that might not have been accessible otherwise.

African researchers have expressed demand for IE training  to further their skills and contribute to policy-relevant research in sub-Saharan Africa; however,  it can be a challenge to find instructors on the continent. Scholars from African countries are at a particular disadvantage, with twelve times fewer professional researchers per capita than non African countries (World Bank, 2022).

Through CEGA and Makerere University’s Impact Evaluation Evidence for Decision Making Lab,  MakSPH and CEGA teams met weekly to co-create course objectives, ensure continuity between lecturers, and align course curriculum material. Coordinated by Mulebeke and Program Manager Mary Kaakyo, the first two weeks of the course covered theoretical foundations of IE and were taught by seven Makerere faculty members, including CEGA fellows Saint Kizito Omala, John Bosco Asiimwe, and Annet Adong. The second two weeks, taught by CEGA affiliated faculty Jamie McCasland and Arman Rezaee, delved into the practical applications of IE.

Rezaee noted, “I would expect quite a few of these projects to be completed successfully and to ultimately help improve our understanding of important interventions aimed at improving livelihoods across Africa and the globe.” 

Participants from institutions such as BRAC Uganda, Amref Health Africa, and the Economic Policy Research Centre at Makerere University formed groups based on diverse topics, including agriculture, maternal child health, occupational safety, and the environment. Groups presented their research proposals where they justified their design approaches, identified data sources, and created analysis strategies. Participant Annette Nabuduwa shared, “My favorite part has been the application – the process of going through and writing the proposal has been such a memorable experience […] This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to do rigorous evaluations.”

Pairing scholars from high income country (HIC) with low- and middle-income country (LMIC) scholars leverages varied skill sets to assist with formulating meaningful research questions and encourages the translation of evidence into policies. Participants noted that they will continue collaborating and felt empowered to contact professors for guidance moving forward. The IEED team will continue to advocate for the inclusion of impact evaluation in Makerere University’s curricula.

This movement toward greater geographic equity and knowledge production in impact evaluation was possible through the synergy and careful coordination between trainers, as well as commitment to centering participants’ own research interests and expertise.

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