Impact Evaluation Analytics

LFS 302B | 6 credits

About the virtual program

This program is virtual and will take place online for Summer 2021. The application deadline has been extended, you can continue to submit applications online.  Students will be selected on a rolling basis until courses are full.

About the course

This course is led by UBC faculty members Sean Holowaychuk & Chris Bennett.

This real-time online version of the Go Global Seminar is designed to introduce students to the principles and applications of project Monitoring, Evaluation, & Learning (MEL), and impact analysis in a COVID world. Typically, in May, students would travel to Indonesia to learn the Impact Evaluation Analytics Methodology in order to assess the efficacy and impact attributed to small-scale development projects in rural settings. 

The 2021 version of LFS302B presents an opportunity for students interested in a career in international development to come to terms with the challenges of gathering information, analyzing data, and performing field-work during a pandemic – and beyond. Students will learn how to use the resources at their disposal to do research and interpret information from stakeholders in real-time, in order to accurately appraise development project interventions from a distance. Students will be provided with analytical tools that will increase their value as employment candidates for national and international donor agencies, consultancy companies, as well as non-government organizations (NGOs) operating in the development field.

The world of international development faces many challenges, one of which is the failure of assistance interventions such as aid projects and programs. Students will develop a practical understanding of the logical processes by which projects are designed and implemented, including the need for external evaluation to assess the efficacy, outcomes, impacts, and sustainability, post-project delivery. Lack of project success, more often than not, is a result of inadequate impact evaluation strategies. Students will learn skills to develop strong MEL plans in order to overcome these deficiencies.

This course is an adaptation of the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach of previous LFS302B years. Students will work in teams studying on-going and small-scale development project interventions and benefit from ‘hands-on learning. Oral presentations of group work will allow for knowledge exchange among the students.  There is a unique opportunity to combine course objectives with technology to deliver a strategic alternative to the field-study course – LFS302B-Impact Evaluation Analytics | International Field-Study to Indonesia.

For more information, email Sean Holowaychuk at

Student testimonial 

“This week I participated in an online challenge called How to Change the World (HtCtW), the goal of which was to come up with a sustainable development strategy for Makoko slum in Lagos, Nigeria. The process really reminded me of LFS302B, because a key part of it was identifying the core problem and key stakeholders. My team ended up using principles of problem tree and logframe to do so, and I wanted to thank Sean & Chris for drilling that in my head. My team won one the 'Most Implementable' nomination and got to speak to Her Honour Elizabeth Dowdeswell, which was pretty cool.” – A.K.

About the virtual experience

Week 1

After a brief introduction to the course, students will be provided with shared dockets loaded with photos, videos, research papers, and previous years’ evaluation reports – detailed information on ten selected development projects comprising a broad range of interests and sectors (agriculture, healthcare, waste management & recycling, small business enterprises, micro-hydro, land conflict, rainforest management, etc.). During this first week of classroom instruction (online), instructors will present and discuss the potential project options as an entire cohort. Through photo and video capture in-the-field in Indonesia, instructors will compile a real-time update of what has changed since 2020 for each of the development project options, and how stakeholders are coping in a contemporary environment – especially due to COVID.

Through recorded video lectures and in-person discussion during Week 1, instructors will begin to provide an academic framework for the IEA Methodology, by outlining the foundations of basic project evaluation and impact analysis.

Week 2

During the first days of Week 2, students will gravitate towards a development project option that interests them, and then form teams on their own.

With teams now formed, students will continue to absorb the Impact Evaluation Analytics (IEA) Methodology and integrate that knowledge with the challenges of gathering quality research information during a pandemic. Instructors will introduce small team assignments to highlight these hurdles. Teams will be introduced to the Indonesian translator who will facilitate meetings with stakeholders, and act as their virtual guide of the projects. Teams will begin to formulate a daily workflow as to how to gather additional information about their selected development project in Indonesia. By following the IEA methodology, teams will develop a sense of the information that is incomplete about the project, which will be relayed to translators in Indonesia. Over the evening (daytime in Indonesia), translators will elicit responses from project stakeholders to teams’ queries. The goal of this second week, is for students will balance learning the fundamentals and methodology, with actual MEL investigation, with the challenges of collecting data remotely – Problem-Based Learning.

Weeks 3-4

Students will continue to learn the fundamentals of project design and implementation through the IEA Methodology through recorded video lectures, classroom discussion, and small team exercises. Working with instructors and translators, in Canada and in Indonesia, teams will continue to build their MEL and impact analysis case. Teams will continue to communicate with Indonesian stakeholders on a daily basis and compile information data in order to facilitate their project evaluation. Note that by the third week the weekly classroom schedule may be augmented to accommodate a dynamic schedule. Due to the time difference (+14 hours), most stakeholder communication (interviews) will need to be held in the evening Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), which is morning Western Indonesian Time (WIT). i.e.: 6pm PDT = 8am WIT.

Week 5

Teams will continue daily communication in a virtual classroom setting with instructors, work towards tying up loose ends with stakeholders in Indonesia, and preparing their team evaluation presentations.

Week 6

By the end of Week 6 teams will deliver a 20-25-minute online presentation to instructors and project stakeholders. This forum will provide an opportunity for team, stakeholders, instructors, and translators to exchange ideas on the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the project evaluators. The presentation is an time for teams to refine their work before the final report submission.

Moving forward, over the next 2 weeks – until the end of the Summer Term 1 exam period – students will prepare a full project evaluation report, as well as an individual paper.

Closing Remarks

The virtual version of LFS302B is not intended to replace the hands-on development project experience of working in the field in Indonesia. This year’s course is intended as a response to a contemporary world health crisis, in which the future of work in the field of international development will need to be reshaped. Skills learned in LFS302B 2021 will help prepare students for what lies ahead in this field.

Project Options for LFS302B 2021

  • Muti-sectoral Mini Hydro Energy, West Java & West Sumatra
  • Adoption of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to Restore Peatlands and Prevent Fires, Central Kalimantan
  • More Effective Community-based Orangutan Conservation, Aceh & North Sumatra
  • Higher Value-added Community Cassava Processing & Marketing, Benteng Village, West Java
  • Increasing Community Waste-Management in Municipalities, Kertamaya, West Java, Indonesia
  • Resolving Land Conflict between Villagers and Cement industry, Nambo Village, West Java, Indonesia
  • Expanding Micro-Finance, Pasir Kuda village, West Java, Indonesia
  • Community-based Watershed Management, Eastern Sumatra
  • Rainforest Conservation by Dayak Communities for Water Resource Protection, North Kalimantan

See below for project descriptions.

    Eligibility requirements

    General Global Seminar requirements

    • You must have at least a 70% average in your most recent Winter Session of full-time studies prior to application
    • You need to be a UBC student in good standing (e.g., not be under academic or non-academic discipline) to participate in a Global Seminar
    • You should have full-time student status (as defined by your faculty) in the year prior to your Global Seminar
    • You must maintain 70% average prior to your Global Seminar departure
    • You must have completed or intend to complete the necessary (or equivalent) pre-requisite courses prior to Global Seminar start date
    • Unclassified students will be considered on a case-by-case basis
    • You will need to be accepted by the Program Director leading the Global Seminar

    To be accepted for this Global Seminar, you have to meet both program-specific requirements as well as Go Global’s general eligibility.

    Program-specific requirements

    This program is suitable for students in the second year and above in the Faculty of Land & Food Systems and/or in the following majors:

    • Food, Nutrition and Health
    • Global Resource Systems
    • Human Geography
    • International Relations
    • Forestry
    • Economics

    Prior to taking part in this program, students should have completed coursework in these disciplines, and should also have a record of strong academic performance.

    FRE490 would be an asset.

    General timelines

    The program will run in May-June 2021. 

    Application deadline

    The application deadline has been extended, so you can continue to submit applications online. Students will be selected on a rolling basis until courses are full.

    How to apply

    • Log in to the Gateway online application program.
    • Select “Search Experiences” and type "VGS" to explore Global Seminars programs.
    • Upload the application form for your selected Global Seminar - see application documents below

    Students are encouraged to meet with the Program Director at an orientation session or one-on-one to learn more about the program.

    Note: students enrolled in LFS 303D will still be eligible to participate in, and receive credit for, the in-person field-study course to Indonesia in 2022.

    Program fees and costs

    Go Global is committed to making high quality global education experiences accessible to all students.  For this reason, Virtual Global Seminars will be kept at no or low cost for the Summer 2021 season.  

    The Go Global Fee ($415) will be covered in full by the Go Global Award ($500) and Program Fees will be covered in full by the Global Service Learning Award. 

    You will pay UBC tuition for the number of credits you enroll in for this program.

    Global Seminars refund policy

    The Go Global Fee ($415.00 CDN) is an administrative fee required for all applicants to Go Global programs. The fee is non-refundable. However, it may be adjusted under the following circumstances.

    If you withdraw from Go Global

    To withdraw from your program, you must contact Go Global by email to request withdrawal.

    Students who withdraw from the program after the program starts, will have their Go Global fee adjusted from $415.00 to $321.75 (reduced by $93.25).

    In the case of withdrawal, Go Global Award funding must be returned in full.

    If you have questions, please connect with your Go Global advisor or email Go Global at


    If you are considering applying for a Go Global program and identify with having a disability or pre-existing health condition (mental or physical) which could impact your participation, or if you require academic accommodations, you can contact the following offices and meet with an Accessibility Advisor before the start of the program:


    Go Global's Vancouver campus office is closed until further notice. At this time, you can contact Go Global by email, phone or virtually through Zoom.

    If you need to book an advising appointment, please complete the online request form. Appointments will be held through Zoom or by phone.

    Advising hours

    Monday: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Tuesday: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Thursday: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm