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Online Course

Data for Effective Policy Making

Inter-American Development Bank via edX


In this age of information, data is available everywhere and grows at an exponential rate. How can we make sense of all this data?, how do we take advantage of data when making decisions?, how do we use data to help us guide the management and planning of our policies?

Whether you are a citizen or a policymaker, learning the answers to these questions can benefit you greatly.

In this course, you will strengthen your ability to use, understand, and interpret data. Using the "Numbers for Development" and "Caribbean Data Portal" platforms developed by the IDB - which presents data and socioeconomic indicators from the Latin American and Caribbean region - you will be able to understand how to improve the decision-making process in public management.

At the end of the course, you will have gained the tools to navigate data, perform and interpret visualizations, and understand the different types of data analysis according to the policy to be implemented.

Relax, it's not a statistics course! However, you will acquire the knowledge necessary to interpret graphs, statistical reports, and understand their language. And, most importantly, you will learn the foundations to be able to base your decisions on verifiable data, beyond intuition.

The course is based on real-life examples so that you can understand the different concepts and methodologies in a simple, practical, and enjoyable way. Using various useful activities, you will be able to apply the acquired knowledge and practice with data and graphs. Also, we will show you real IDB cases to promote analysis and present the realities to which experts from the region and the Caribbean are exposed. You will also face some creative challenges that will allow you to measure your abilities on a higher level of difficulty.

The course has readings and videos that enable you to generate a better understanding of course topics and participate in the discussion forums with a strong basis; open up areas for discussion with your colleagues around the issues and challenges raised during the course.

84% of students have stated that the course content has helped them improve their ability to formulate, implement, and/or evaluate public policies.

Finally, this course is "self-paced". It means that if you choose to pay for the verified certificate, you will be able to take the course in a maximum term of about three months, from April 2 to December 18, 2020.

IMPORTANT: You can choose between auditing the course or obtaining a verified certificate. If you take the "Audit" option, you will have free access to all course materials for ten weeks, but you will not be able to participate in the assessment activities. If you'd instead obtain a verified certificate, you will have access to the assessment activities until the closing date of the course, and you will be able to view the course materials for an unlimited time.

Taught by

Norma Palomino and Ivette Fis de Melo

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5.0 rating, based on 1 reviews

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  • Frank Edward Paco Smith completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    This coure was, undoubtedly, very informative. It was rigorous within certain respects, but definitely worthwhile, as it introduced valuable concepts and approaches concerning a subject that I believe shall prove useful in my consultancy undertakings.

    I highly recommend this course for those with an interest in this critical area of concentration.

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