Program Evaluations and Data Analysis

Course Number: 
GAFL 640


  • Spring 2017


Course Description: 

This course is a requirement for MPA full-time students who started in Fall 2015 or later. It is an elective for MPA full-time students who started Fall 2014 or earlier.

One of the trademarks of the 21st century public management is the usage of data and analysis in the decision making process. A successful public leader will use empirical evidence to guide her decisions. She knows what types of data and analysis she should ask her analysts to collect and conduct, how to consume the results they generate, and how to transform analytical results into effective communication with stakeholders. This class will help you become that 21st century public leader. My goal for this class is to teach you fundamental ideas of performance management, program evaluation, and data analysis. At the end of this course, you will understand key principles of performance measures and program evaluation, be able to process, manage, and analyze quantitative data using Excel, and learn to write basic programing tasks using R. I picked Excel because it is a standard software that most organizations already have. It is not an ideal software to conduct sophisticated statistical analysis, but being a power-user of Excel will make you a valued employee. I will teach you how to use it to conduct reproducible analysis using R. It is the future of quantitative analysis. Most importantly, it is free. Knowing how to use R is an attractive skill for your employer. In addition, I will teach you how to transform analytical results into effective communication.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829