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Technical Paper: Evaluative Approaches for Social Programs (Economics)

Project Member(s): Siminski, P., Slonim, R., Delavande, A.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Paul Ramsay Foundation (Paul Ramsay Foundation Funding)
Paul Ramsay Foundation (Paul Ramsay Foundation Funding)

Start year: 2022

Summary: The purpose of the Program is for the Organisation to develop and actively publish a technical paper about the evaluative approaches for social programs, in collaboration with the Foundation. The Foundation would like to contribute to the body of evidence on the impact of direct cash transfers on the wellbeing of vulnerable populations in Australia. The Foundation has asked the Organisation to explore different methods of quantitatively evaluating the impact of social programs, in particular programs that involve direct giving and cash transfers. The Organisation will weigh up the research design/analysis options to determine which option would produce the best quality evidence within pragmatic constraints (e.g. time, cost, ethics). The Organisation will explore a range of methods including randomised clinical trials, synthetic control methods, and Bayesian adaptive trials; using both active data collection as well as administrative or historical data. The Organisation will produce a report that will provide an overview of the spectrum of technical approaches that could be deployed to evaluate the impact of direct cash transfers, and their relative strengths and weaknesses.

FOR Codes: Social class and inequalities, Applied economics