Workshop 2



  • Sumit Mazumdar

Demographer (Institute for Human Development, New Delhi)

  • Christophe Jalil Nordman

Economist (IRD, DIAL, France)



Invited Tutors:

  • Flore Gubert

Economist (IRD, DIAL and Paris School of Economics, France)

  • Camille Saint-Macary

Economist (IRD, DIAL, France)


Health policy analysis in low and middle-income countries worldwide has increasingly veered towards evidence-based approaches. Assessment of the most optimal – effective, efficient, and affordable – policies and interventions in complex systems encountered across the developing world can be best undertaken with sound knowledge of scientific evaluation methods and techniques.

The tradition and application of impact evaluation in health policy and programme analysis has received a big momentum in recent years with introduction of a number of new programmes and health sector reforms, on the one hand, and greater interest and application of these approaches by leading multilateral development partners such as the World Bank and the World Health Organization, on the other. In India, for e.g. new initiatives involving conditional cash-transfer programmes such as the Janani Suraksha Yojana (Motherhood Security/safe Motherhood Scheme), or cashless hospitalization-support based national insurance under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (National Health Insurance Scheme), have led to better understanding and demand for rigorous impact evaluations in order to quantitatively assess benefits accruing to the programme, or, in an alternate way, shortfalls from the expected results.

In this proposed workshop of the ‘Social Sciences Winter School in Pondicherry’, trainees will be introduced to the state-of-the-art on main approaches to evaluation in practice. The main objective of the workshop is to review quantitative methods and models of impact evaluation that are aimed at estimating the causal and potentially heterogeneous effects of policies or programs. It will discuss both experimental (or randomized) setups and non-experimental methods using health policies or programs as case studies.

The course, spread over 4 days will combine interactive lecture sessions on the theoretical foundation and the empirical approaches for different evaluation methods, with statistical illustrations of the methodologies. Through a mix of readings of papers, case studies, and tutorials, the trainees will be exposed to some of the major evaluation techniques, using the Indian household survey data such as the NFHS (Rounds II and III, DLHS-RCH (Round III, 2007-08)). The days will be split between morning lectures and afternoon sessions devoted to hands-on training using the statistical software STATA.

Readings and online resources:

Baqui, A, Williams, E.A. et al. (2008), “Impact of an Integrated Nutrition and Health Programme on Neonatal Mortality in Rural Northern India”, Bulletin of the WHO, Volume 86, Issue 10, October 2008, pp. 796-805.

Banerjee, A. V., Duflo, E., Glennerster, R., and Kothari D. (2010), “Improving Immunization Coverage in Rural India: Clustered Randomised Controlled Evaluation of Immunization Campaigns with and without Incentives”, BMJ, Volume 340, pp. c2220.

Banerjee, A., Glennerster, R., and Duflo, E. (2008), “Putting a Band-Aid on a Corpse: Incentives for Nurses in the Indian Public Health Care System”, Journal of the European Economic Association, Volume 6, Issue 2-3, pp. 487-500.

Banerjee, A., Deaton, A., Duflo, E. (2003), “Wealth, health and health services in Rural Rajasthan”, MIT Working Paper:

Banerjee, A., Duflo E., Glennerster, R. (2009), “Is Decentralized Iron Fortification a Feasible Option to Fight Anemia among the Poorest?”, in Explorations in the Economics of Aging, David A. Wise (Eds.):

Deaton, A. (2010), “Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development”, Journal of Economic Literature, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp. 424-455.

Duflo, E., Glennerster, R. and Kremer, M. (2006), “Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit”, NBER Technical Working Paper 333:

Khandker Shahidur R., Koolwal Gayatri B. and Samad Hussain A. (2010), Handbook on Impact Evaluation: Quantitative Methods and Practices, The World Bank.

Lim, S.S., Dandona, L, Hoisington, J.A., James, S.L., Hogan, M.C., Gakidou, E. (2010), “India’s Janani Suraksha Yojana, a Conditional Cash Transfer Programme to Increase Births in Health Facilities: an Impact Evaluation”, The Lancet, Volume 375, pp. 2009-23. 

Mazumdar, S, Mills, A, Powell-Jackson, T. (2011), Financial Incentives in Health: New Evidence from India’s Janani Suraksha Yojana. Oxford: Health Economics Research Centre.

Mohanan, M et al (2014), “Effect of Chiranjeevi Yojana on Institutional Deliveries and Neonatal and Maternal Outcomes in Gujarat, India: a Difference-in-Differences Analysis”, Bulletin of the WHO, Volume 92, Issue 3, May 2014, pp. 187-194.


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Methodological approaches in social sciences