Rigorous program evaluation on a budget: An interview with Jon Baron, President, Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy – Episode #39

How can public leaders and program managers gain rigorous, useful insights into program effectiveness at a modest cost? A report by the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, “Rigorous Program Evaluations on a Budget,” offers suggestions.

As the report discusses, low-cost, high quality impact evaluation involves two key elements. The first is building random assignment evaluations into policies (e.g., using a lottery if there aren’t funds to serve everyone to create program and control groups). The second is using existing administrative data (data that a program is already producing) on outcomes of interest, so you can avoid the cost of collecting new data.

To learn more, we’re joined by Jon Baron, the President of the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy. Our interview includes an overview of three programs evaluated with low-cost randomized controlled trials: New York City’s teacher bonus program; the Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) System in South Carolina; and Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) Program.