ACSEP Training Programme: 
Social Impact Measurement

Measuring the impact that counts


Session 4: Control Groups and Counterfactual Thinking

Date: Tuesday 26 February 2019
Time: 1pm-5pm
Course fee:

$400 (regular price)
$280 (30% early-bird discount) till 18 Feb 2019

Location: NUSS Kent Ridge Guild House, 
9 Kent Ridge Drive, Singapore 119241,
Cluny Room

Facilitator: Dr. Frank Hubers

In this fourth and final session on social impact measurement, we will demonstrate how to design an evaluation using control groups. These impact evaluations are one of the most accurate and reliable forms of proof that a social programme is effective. However, there are challenges.

Most non-profit organisations monitor their impact with indicators. While indicators are useful in observing relevant social changes over time, they are insufficient for assessing the impact of a programme.

In order to measure impact, the extent to which changes can be attributed to the programme needs to be understood. Hence, an impact evaluation needs to investigate what would have happened without the programme. This is what we call “counterfactual” - that which would have happened otherwise. Although challenging, there are several evaluation designs that can do this.

During this session, we will discuss different impact evaluation approaches and their applications, usefulness, ethics and accuracy for different programmes.

Seats are limited to facilitate interaction and small group discussions.

Target Audience
Practitioners (social entrepreneurs, charities, foundations, government agencies) and impact investors with an interest in social impact measurement.

As this is an introductory course, no prerequisite knowledge is required.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Increase their knowledge of impact evaluation designs and the use of control groups
  • Acquire skills to develop an impact evaluation plan for a social programme

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About the facilitator

Dr. Frank Hubers is a research fellow for the Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP) at NUS Business School, where he studies philanthropy in the Asian context. Originally trained as a cultural anthropologist, he obtained his PhD in Economics from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. His research interests lie in analysing and improving the effectiveness of voluntary giving to public causes by using experimental designs. He has over 12 years of experience in the non-profit sector, and coordinated evaluations of social projects in Singapore, the Netherlands, Ghana, Brazil and Bangladesh. He has taught various courses in non-profit management and marketing to students and professionals. Before he became an academic, he worked at Oxfam as a monitoring and evaluation advisor.


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