Course Overview

In this course, we explore following questions:

  • How do law makers and policymakers use research and evidence in decision-making?
  • How can researchers make their work useful to decision-makers?
  • How can we evaluate research and existing policy programs?
  • How can we communicate evidence and data with clarity and accuracy for policymakers?
  • How do legislative staff and stakeholders gather and utilize evidence to shape policy?


Students are expected to learn how to generate useful and actionable information and recommendations for policymakers. This course is designed to teach students how to understand and bridge the disconnect between knowledge producers (research community) and knowledge consumers (policymaking community). You will utilize knowledge and skills that you learned in Research-Analytic Methods and further develop and apply them to real-word, professional scenarios.

Syllabus [2020 Spring]



Stoker, G., & Evans, M. (Eds.). (2016). Evidence-Based Policy Making in the Social Sciences: Methods thatMatter. Policy Press.

Course Schedule

M Topic
1 Introduction to Evidence-Based Decision-Making
2 The Gap between Evidence and Policy Makers
3 Systematic Reviews for Policy
4 Introduction to Meta Reviews
5 Public Policy Analysis
6 Cost-Benefit Analysis
7 Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)
8 Program Evaluation and Difference-in-Difference(DID)
9 Systematic Review Presentation
10 Spring Break
11 Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
12 Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)
13 Survey Implementation
14 Data Visualization
15 Politics and Bias in Evidence-Based Decision-Making
16 Mock Capstone Prospectus