Session Date-Application DeadlineProgram Fee$9,900Faculty ChairProgram Director
NEW: Colleague Companion Online Option
For the April 2023 session of Leading Successful Programs, admitted on campus participants will have the option to invite up to two other individuals from the same organization to participate in and benefit from the program remotely at a reduced tuition rate. For more information on the Colleague Companion option, contact Christian Flynn, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about requirements to participate in an executive program on the Harvard Kennedy School campus, please visit this page.
Program Fee: The on-campus fee includes tuition, housing, curricular materials and most meals. The online Colleague Companion fee includes all curricular materials.
Executive Certificate: This program is a core program in the Nonprofit Leadership and Public Policy concentrations. This program can also be used as a third program for any concentration in the Executive Certificate series.
Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs): This program aligns with one or more Executive Core Qualifications.
In all organizations, managers like you are under increasing pressure to prove their programs—and, by extension, their leadership—are effective. But what constitutes reliable and valid evidence of effectiveness and how can it be generated to assess a program’s effectiveness? What data should be collected? How should managers use it?
Leading Successful Programs: Using Evidence to Assess Effectiveness will challenge you to rethink your programs' goals and reassess how you gather, evaluate, and use data to determine their effectiveness. This program considers many types of evaluations—including design, process and impact—as well a wide range of methodologies. Special attention is paid to the use of data from evaluations and other types of evidence to help you provide better leadership and make more effective decisions about your programs.
During this one-week executive program, you and your peers will be immersed in a highly engaging, evidence-based learning environment that features a range of interactive activities, including case studies, discussions, exercises, presentations, and readings. The curriculum provides an in-depth look at key aspects of understanding and implementing evidence-based strategies. Whether attending on campus or online via the Colleague Companion option, the curriculum will provide you with an in-depth look at key aspects of understanding and implementing evidence-based strategies.
Together, in live interactive sessions with the entire global cohort, you will explore a framework for thinking about a range of evidence types and delve deeply into specific evidence generating strategies –experimental and quasi-experimental designs, implementation evaluation, predictive analytics – taking time to understand the strengths and limitations of each. You will work together as a group to pull these ideas together in the context of real-world limitations such as budgets, a lack of time, and political constraints.
The Leading Successful Programs curriculum will explore:
- The big questions you need to ask about the effectiveness of programs in your organization
- How to decide what data should be collected, and when
- The kinds of evaluations and other forms of assessment you should conduct
- The key methods to evaluate the impact of programs and when each should be used
- How you should make decisions about which programs to assess
- The role of randomized experiments in evaluating the impact of a program
- How you can make sense of mixed method evaluations and then integrate quantitative and qualitative information to design and implement better programs
In its goal to help you understand how to measure and evaluate program effectiveness, this one-week executive program will equip all learners with:
- A framework for thinking about various types of evidence—from benchmarking and performance measurement to impact evaluation—and their relationship to one another
- Methods for analyzing administrative data to identify potential points for intervention to improve long-term goals
- Tools to measure the effectiveness of your program as well as strategies for generating short- and longer-term assessments of the impact of your programs on participants
- Tactics for integrating qualitative and quantitative data to assess a program's effectiveness
- A deeper understanding of how to make decisions about the best way to spend your limited research budget
Leading Successful Programs is designed for leaders within organizations that either manage or fund programs designed to improve the well-being of people and communities. Recommended applicants include senior-level managers, program directors, grant makers, chief operating officers or budget directors of:
- Government agencies at the federal, state/province, county or city level
- Private companies interested in corporate social responsibility
- Foundations and their grantees
- Multilateral institutions
- Development banks
- International aid agencies
The program is also designed for:
- Consultants to nonprofits or government agencies
- Legislative staffers working with committees
- Legislators seeking ways of assessing evidence of program effectiveness
View the draft program schedule for the on-campus session.
Access a sample schedule for the online session.
What Participants are Saying
The program provided me with the missing link in using evidence to get results.
Faculty & Research
Julie Boatright Wilson
Dara Kay Cohen
Alumni Spotlight: Q&A with Colleen Rossignol
Colleen Rossignol, co-founder and director of The Village Link, recently joined us for a Q&A about her experience as a leader of a nonprofit and how she is using her lessons from Leading Successful Programs. Read her story.