How to implement trials to evaluate programs and policies
Conference Date
27th & 28th August 2019
Location
QT Canberra
Book Now
Secure your place and get the best rates

Overview

Executive Forum with Professor Michael J. Hiscox

The Applying Randomised Controlled Trials for Program & Policy Evaluation provides an extensive introduction to conducting randomised controlled trials, the gold standard method for assessing the true impacts of programs and policies.

What is a randomised control trial (RCT)?

In an RCT, researchers allocate an intervention or treatment by selecting program participants and non- participants by random assignment and then compare the differences in subsequent outcomes across the groups in the study.

Leading empirical research across the social sciences in the past 10 years has been increasingly dominated by RCTs, and this methodology is now revolutionising the way government agencies approach policies in the key areas of health, education, welfare and poverty alleviation.

What will you take away?

In this forum, we will examine why RCTs are so critical for accurate impact evaluation and why they are so much better than traditional approaches. We will then discuss how to design and implement RCTs and overcome the various challenges that can limit evaluation. We will examine applications of RCTs to evaluate major programs addressing public health, education, employment and job training, social welfare, aid and economic development, taxation, gender bias and racial discrimination, and criminal justice.

  • A review of the statistical methodology of evaluation
  • An understanding of how RCTs compare to other common approaches of estimating the effects of programs and policies
  • Critical steps to take when designing and implementing RCTs
  • A hands on approach to overcoming the practical issues involved in working with government and non-governmental partners
  • An exploration of political and ethical issues associated with RCTs
  • Insights on how to select a study sample and calculate statistical power
  • Advice on the use of randomised encouragements or ‘intent to treat’ design, and online experimental platforms
  • Recommendations on how to best report on and communicate findings

Who should attend?

The forum is ideal for public servants, policy practitioners and other professionals interested in public policy who want solid grounding in the theoretical foundations of program evaluation and training in how to design and implement an RCT to assess the effects of any specific program or policy. Some background in economics, psychology, or other fields of social science is helpful but not required.

Attend to learn:

  • Recommendations on how to best report on and communicate findings
  • An understanding of how RCTs compare to other common approaches of estimating the effects of programs and policies
  • Advice on the use of randomised encouragements or ‘intent to treat’ design, and online experimental platforms
  • Insights on how to select a study sample and calculate statistical power
  • An exploration of political and ethical issues associated with RCTs
  • A hands on approach to overcoming the practical issues involved in working with government and non-governmental partners
  • Critical steps to take when designing and implementing RCTs
  • A review of the statistical methodology of evaluation
#controlledtrials19  

Key Speakers

Professor Michael J. Hiscox
Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs
Department of Government, Harvard University

Sponsors

What People Are Saying

  • Great cross-section of delegates and contemporary topics of interest.

    Jenny Collis
    Executive Officer Podiatry, AHPRA
  • Michael provided a wonderful framework for applying behavioural insights that can be readily applied by corporate and public policy professionals at all levels of government.

    David Blackman
    Advisor, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • “So part of what we do [in behavioural insights] is a rigorous application of randomised controlled trials. Just like in the process of approving the new drugs that we now have and take for granted, we want to create a process like that, that we can use for design and optimising new programs and policies.”

    Proffesor Michael J. Hiscox
    Department of Government, Harvard University

Blog

  • Date: 3 Feb 2017  By: Richard Jackson

    The first few weeks of the Trump presidency have marked a dramatic change in direction for the American government and have unfortunately signaled alarming developments for evidence based policy. Trump has ordered a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants. The administration is also mandating …

  • Date: 24 Feb 2016  By: James Fedorow
    Measuring Health Outcomes

    We are now living in a world where data increasingly plays a large role in providing insights on which we can base our decisions. However, all data is not the same and as it forms the basis of decisions or actions, there is more importance placed on ensuring that we use relevant information. There are …

  • Date: 9 Nov 2015  By: Professor Simon Chapman

    This is an excerpt from Professor Simon Chapman’s book, ‘Removing the emperor’s new clothes: Australia and tobacco plain packaging’. “At its simplest, the story is one of the public good against commercial evil – governments and health authorities introducing an evidence-based measure in the face of ferocious opposition from a lethal and discredited, but still …

  • Date: 13 Mar 2014  By: Lindsey Eifler

    Evidence-based policy making…it was all anyone could talk about when Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister (the first time) but after a while, as happened with Rudd himself, the excitement faded. Of course, unlike Rudd, evidence-based policy making is still with us.   And there’s a very good reasons for that: it makes sense! Despite this, using …

Endorsers & Media Partners