Principal Investigator: Professor Mike Brewer
Answering questions about the effectiveness of state interventions in economic and social domains - such as 'Did this training programme help the participants get back to work?', or 'Did this child health programme improve children's outcomes?' - is the goal of programme evaluation.
Robust programme evaluation is difficult: researchers have to estimate causal impacts credibly and understand the uncertainty in their estimates, and policy-makers have to determine how best to synthesize and generalise the lessons learned from multiple studies.
PEPA aims to stimulate a step change in the conduct of programme evaluation, and maximise the value of programme evaluation by improving the design of evaluations and improving the way that such evaluations add to the knowledge base.
PEPA research programme aims to (i) advance our understanding of the value of randomised control trials in social science; (ii) improve inference for policy evaluation; (iii) develop the key relationships between alternative methods for policy evaluation; (iv) understand how best to combine quasi-experimental methods with dynamic behavioural models; and (v) determine how to measure social networks and then use such data for programme evaluation.
PEPA also apply the methods they develop to evaluate a number of important policy questions, and they run a programme of training and capacity building activities.
PEPA is based at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and cemmap.
Further information about PEPA.