Course objective and expected outcomes:
The central objective of this course is to learn the tools that are used to determine whether programs and policies are achieving their goals. Child policies and programs in a broad range of areas will be examined, including health, criminal justice, education, welfare and poverty, and development.
By the end of the course, participants will be equipped with skills and knowledge for effective result-based monitoring and evaluation of public policies and programs. Specifically, they will be able to:
- Advance their knowledge of policy and administration as methods of practice in social work settings, and be able to select appropriate strategies for promoting and implementing change
- Demonstrate a capacity to inquire about and assess the way policies and organizations hinder or promote children’s access to appropriate services
- Demonstrate the capacity to analyze social welfare policy and their effects on children and their families
This course has two main parts. The first part is concerned with Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), the second part is focused on child policy. The first part is intended to equip students with necessary knowledge and skills in M&E that enable them to analyze and evaluate child programs. The second part is concerned with child welfare and development policies that are the subject matter of the practice part of the course. The objective of this part is to introduce students to policy analysis as a systematic way of thinking about public policies. Throughout the course, students will think about, discuss, and understand the crucial components of public policy, and its analytical approaches. This will help students to become solid policy analysts in the area of public policy and child rights. Students will develop the skills required to define and critically analyze policy problems, articulate relevant decision making criteria for policy analysis, and evaluate alternative policy options.
Program evaluation is a key component to all child welfare and child protection policies and intervention programs. A rigorous evaluation assists in improving service delivery and enables policy-makers and service providers to determine the effectiveness in the child welfare sector.
The course also provides an overview of the key aspects of program evaluation. In addition, it outlines different evaluation types, identifies the key elements to developing a rigorous evaluation and highlights possible limitations in evaluating interventions in the child welfare sector.