If you are pursuing an MA in International Policy and Development, you are required to choose a specialization, while MPA students have the option of choosing a specialization.
Why Become an Evaluation and Analytics Specialist?
Every organization and every project requires people skilled in evaluation and analytics. Many organizations, especially NGOs, do not have staff with this expertise. You can be a valuable asset.
When organizations need evaluation work, they often seek the assistance of outside consulting firms. There are hundreds of these firms that need competent evaluation and analytics professionals.
Although there has never been a better time for someone with quantitative skills, there is also a high demand for strong qualitative skills. Whether an analyst is using quantitative, qualitative, or a mixed-methods approach, structured analysis helps to reveal patterns, regularities, and meaningful associations and insights that are not readily apparent to the unaided eye.
You will be prepared for a range of careers:
- Project Manager
- Policy Researcher
- Policy Analyst
- Corporate Strategy and Development Analyst
- Government Analyst
- Evaluation Consultant
- Data Analyst
- Evaluation Specialist
- Research Analyst
- Insights Analyst
- Business Intelligence Analyst
You will learn to evaluate key decision-making information, from structured internal records and survey responses to unstructured written materials, photographic records, or interview transcripts. These skills are invaluable when organizations are struggling to use data to improve their decisions, programs, products, and operations, and include the following:
- Data collection
- Data analytics
- Diagnosing and solving problems
- Research design
- Interpretation of data and analytic output
- Programming language (optional)
Our Mixed-Methods Evaluation, Training and Analysis (META) Lab is a key resource for this specialization. The META Lab addresses the growing need for data-savvy professionals across a broad range of fields.
- Program Evaluation for Social Change Organizations
- Analytics: Big and Thick Data in Social Change and Human Development Programs
- Intro to Network Analysis
- Advancing Evidence for Social Change Organizations
- Proposal Writing for International Development
- Qualitative Data Analysis
- Fieldwork and Reporting
- Advanced Data Analysis
- Advanced Policy Analysis
- Advanced Program Evaluation Practicum
- Conservation Project Design and Evaluation
- Survey Design
- Data Interpretation and Presentation
- Geographic Information Systems
- Advanced Geographic Information Systems
- Quantitative Data Analysis with Excel
- Applied Qualitative Data Collection and Coding
You have several opportunities to gain professional experience and supplement your studies:
- Enroll in a long-term immersive learning program such as the International Professional Service Semester that involves evaluation and analytics.
- Secure a related internship with a local nonprofit or government.
- Learn evaluation and analytics skills and competencies beyond classes offered at the Institute through online courses, the META Lab, the Digital Learning Commons, and the American Evaluation Association.
- Maintain a dedicated digital folder that contains your classwork from the Institute, books, and articles on evaluation and analytics topics, online courses, and case studies.
- Join the American Evaluation Association.
Your Network of Support
- Students have direct access to our faculty, who combine academic expertise with years of professional experience. They mentor and guide you through your studies on campus as well as during your immersive learning.
- Our Center for Advising and Career Services (CACS) provides you with customized advising and professional development services.
- A dedicated staff for Professional Immersive Learning and Special Programs advises students interested in participating in semester-long immersive learning programs, fellowships, and co-ops, while also building a network of international and U.S.-based internship opportunities at field and headquarters locations.
- Our Alumni Relations Office maintains alumni connections to support your efforts in finding the right connections for your professional future.