Nearly 35 researchers gathered at HGSE recently for the Impact Evaluation Network (IEN) annual meeting. IEN is an initiative based at the Latin American and the Caribbean Economic Association aimed to advance the state of knowledge and expertise regarding impact evaluation of different policies.
Over two days, participants listened to presentations made by seven researchers, who were chosen from among 70 paper submissions on topics ranging from education to the labor market. Additionally, University of Michigan Professor Jeffrey Smith led training programs on methodological developments in program evaluation.
Assistant Professor Felipe Barrera-Osorio, who sits on the three-person IEN executive committee, stressed the importance of conducting sound evaluations in the context of continuing and expanding programs – both for education and policymaking. The meeting, he says, was a good fit for HGSE due to IEN members’ focus on educational research, a trait shared with HGSE students.
“One of the programs here is Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education where there is great interest in the techniques used to find causal effect,” Barrera-Osorio said. “This meeting gave students an opportunity to meet with researchers working on determining the best services or techniques and understanding evaluation.”
The meeting, cosponsored by HGSE and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin America Studies, closed with the keynote address by HGSE Professor Richard Murnane, who spoke about how to improve education in developing countries.