Atlas108 Analytic Methods and Evaluation

… one of the core Atlas Courses

AnalyticMethods2Atlas course syllabus [EARLY DRAFT]

This Atlas course syllabus combines the 6 normed topics in Analytic Methods and the 6 normed topics in Evaluation and Performance Measurement deemed to be core learning requirements for graduates of MPP and MPA programs.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will have the skills and knowledge to be able to analyze public management problems by appropriately utilizing the theories and principles in the normed topics and concepts noted below.

Normed topics

The topics are normed in having a volume of content capable of being taught in one course-week of instruction − nominally 3 hours of in-class work and 7 hours of outside-class reading.

  1. The Study of Analytic Methods for Public Management
  2. Working with Spreadsheets
  3. Decision Analysis
  4. Cost-Benefit Analysis
  5. Project Management
  6. TQM, Six Sigma, and Lean
  7. The Study of Evaluation and Performance Measurement
  8. Fundamental Identification Problem: Causality, Counterfactual Responses, Heterogeneity, Selection
  9. Assessing the Confounding Effects of Unobserved Factors
  10. Sensitivity Analysis
  11. Data Collection Strategies
  12. Performance Measurement and Performance Management

Like other normed topics on the Atlas, each of these has a topic description, links to core concepts relevant to the topic, learning outcomes, a reading list drawn from available course syllabi, and a series of assessment questions.

Concepts to be learned
Concepts listed alphabetically under topics
(Old Atlas – first draft list)
Working with Spreadsheets

Excel Basics – The Interface

Excel Data Formatting, Grouping, Showing & Hiding

Excel Data Inputting

Excel Data Referencing – Absolute & Relative

Excel Data Functions – Mathematical, Statistical

Excel Data Generation – Time, Date, Random

Excel Data Comparison – Logical & Conditional Formatting

Excel Data Seeking – Reference, Search

Excel Text Functions

Excel Data Determination – Goal Seek, What-If

Excel Working with Complex Formula – Tracing

Excel Data Checking & Validation

Excel Presenting Data – Formatting

Excel Presenting Data – Tables

Excel Presenting Data Visually

Decision Analysis

Decision Chain

Decision Point

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cost-benefit Analysis

Cost-effectiveness Analysis

Project Management

Capital Project

Project/Program Objective

Knowledge Project

Risk Management

Catastrophic Harms

Residual Risk


Risk Appetite

Risk Tolerance

Risk Identification

Risk Management

Risk Mitigation

Risk Profile

Risk Strategy

Impact of Bias on Decision-Making and Insights from Behavioural Economics

Anchoring Effect

Confirmation Bias


Negativity Bias

Evaluation Purposes, Types and Questions

Sensitivity Analysis

Intangible Benefits of Programs


Results Chain

Beneficiaries; Best Practices

Departmental Evaluation Plan

Departmental Performance Report

Economy (in evaluation)

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Products

Formative Evaluation

Gaming (in evaluation)

Gender-based Analysis (GBA)

Impact Evaluation

Open Systems Approach

Program Evaluation

Project/Program Objective

Terms of Reference (in evaluation)

Fundamental Identification Problem: Causality, Counterfactual Responses, Heterogeneity, Selection


Baseline Information

Causal Chain

Causal Images

Causal Relationship



Evaluation Assessment

Needs Assessment

Policy Outputs vs. Outcomes

Program Logic



Assessing the Confounding Effects of Unobserved Factors


Single Difference (in impact evaluation)

Sensitivity Analysis

Diagnostic Procedures

Logic Model

Data Collection Strategies

Case Studies

Elite Interviews

Literature Review

Performance Measurement and Performance Management


Expected Result

Intermediate Outcome

Lessons Learned






Performance Audit

Performance Criteria

Performance Expectations

Performance Indicator

Performance Measure

Performance Measurement

Performance Measurement Strategy

Performance Monitoring

Performance Reporting

Performance Story

Productivity in the Public Sector

Results-Based Management

Results-Based Reporting

Course syllabi sources

University of Toronto: PPG-1001,PPG-1007, PPG-1008 & PPG-2021; Carleton PADM-5814 & PADM-5272; Harvard Kennedy School: API-201 & API-139M & MLD-110B; University of Chicago: PPHA-31920; University of Singapore: PP-6703; University of Illinois-Chicago: PA-526; University of Saskatchewan-Regina: JSGS-828; Rutgers (Bloustein): 34:833:543 & 34:833:632; Carleton PADM-5420; Harvard Kennedy School: API-208 & MLD-101B; NYU Wagner School: GP-2170 & GP-2171; American University: PUAD-604; Rutgers: 34:833:632; Maryland: PUAF-689Xl; University of Southern California: PPD-560; Northern Carolina State University: PA-511.

Recommended readings


Sample assessment questions


Page created by: James Ban on 3 July 2015 and last modified by Ian Clark on 23 September 2017.

Image: Eidiko, at, accessed 10 March 2015.