Damase Sossou, an Impact Evaluation specialist, talks about the Impact Evaluation in Public Policy program offered by the African School of Economics.

Communications Team: How do you contribute to a successful Certificate in Impact Evaluation in Public Policy (CEIPP) program?

Damase SOSSOU: Well, I can say we contributed to designing the program. It came as a result of discussions I personally had with Professor Wantchékon; I actually work in the department in charge of public policy evaluation and government action analysis at the presidency of the Republic. The need was obvious. The ASE started the program and it is my duty to support the initiative so that executives who take part in it receive effective training. I also teach two class modules. One is Introduction to Impact Evaluation, and the other is Experimental Methods.

Communications Team: Why is the CEIPP program important for professionals in general?

Damase SOSSOU: This program is important in that it directly touches upon how people implement public policy programs globally. The existing monitoring system unfortunately does not make it possible to see the value added. This certificate will make it possible for participants to acquire adequate technical skills so they can determine the added value of a program being implemented in their sector – especially with regards to peoples' living conditions – using a rigorous statistical method.

Communications Team: What distinguishes ASE from other institutions offering the same course?

Damase SOSSOU: ASE's program is a certification, not a degree program. The certificate here is characterized by having a larger focus on quantitative methods.

Communications Team: What are the entry requirements for the CEIPP?

Damase SOSSOU: Any professional who holds at least a Master's degree can take part in the certificate program we are offering. This program does not exclude candidates based on their profile, however, it would be easier for someone with a background in areas such as economy, planning, and project management to take this course. What we are offering does not necessarily lead people to become experts in impact evaluation but they do understand the impact evaluation process, and a manager who understands this process has more skills and can better implement programs. This program is therefore not only for experts; it is also for managers.

Communications Team: I understand the need for workers to have the certificate, but what is the need for students who have not started working yet?

Damase SOSSOU: This certificate is necessary for students in that it goes a little beyond the academic setting because case studies are presented to participants. They are introduced to concepts that cannot be presented in an academic course. The teaching method is pragmatic, i.e. the teachers are not university lecturers, but practitioners; this offers a much more interesting prospect than an ordinary academic course. So for students who are about to complete their studies, this is a certificate that enables them have more opportunities with regards to employment than just an academic or professional degree. The CEIPP is also professional but is much more centered on real-life practice and on program management.

Communications Team: We are almost at the end of our interview; do you have anything else to add?

Damase SOSSOU: I would like to encourage all the people who want to improve their performance in their professional positions, and managers to register for this certification. This is an investment I encourage them to make because this will enable them improve their performance in the tasks assigned to them. There are currently many flagship projects being carried out by the government, and it is important for a manager to have these skills in order to better carry out their duties.