Building in an Evalualtion Component for Active Labor Market Programs: A Practitioner's Guide
Card, David; Ibarrarán, Pablo; Villa, Juan Miguel
The guide outlines the main evaluation challenges associated with Active Labor Market Programs (ALMPs), and shows how to obtain rigorous impact estimates using two leading evaluation approaches. The most credible and straightforward evaluation method is a randomized design, in which a group of potential participants is randomly divided into a treatment and a control group. The second approach is a difference in differences design that compares the change in outcomes between the participant group and a selected comparison group from before to after the completion of the program. The change in the outcome gap between the two groups yields a reliable estimate of the program impact. This guideline reviews the various steps in the design and implementation of ALMPs, and in subsequent analysis of the program data, that will ensure a rigorous and informative impact evaluation using either of these two techniques.