International Network for Social Policy Teaching and Research
(Fourth Annual Meeting)

Lisbon, Portugal
October 29-31, 2017


Sunday, October 29 (Business Dinner)

Location:Restaurant CLUB I


Welcome and Introductions:
Douglas J. Besharov, University of Maryland and Atlantic Council
Neil Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley
Luis Reto, Rector, Instituto Universitario de Lisboa

Monday, October 30

Location: Room C101 Edificio II 1 Piso


Welcome, Introductions, and Review of Agenda
Douglas J. Besharov, University of Maryland and Atlantic Council
Neil Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley


Research Conferences

Evaluation Review/INSP/UMD conference on "Impact Evaluation in Europe: What Next?" (Torino, Spring 2018). Douglas Besharov, University of Maryland; and Valentina Battiloro, ASVAPP

This conference, held in honor of Alberto Martini, is likely to be by invitation only. Papers will present the results of original rigorous impact evaluations; i.e., with an explicit counterfactual, using either experimental or non-experimental methods; consider the relation between rigorous impact evaluation and policy (including systematic reviews and meta analyses); and new developments in the methods of rigorous impact evaluation. (Some connection to Europe [e.g., location of the study, location of the evaluation-policy interaction, affiliation of the scholars] will be highly preferred, but not absolutely required.) The papers from the conference will be considered for inclusion in a special volume of Evaluation Review.

Action Item: Are any members of the Network interested in presenting/attending? Or can you suggest colleagues?


Stand-alone Courses

Sorbonne/OECD/UMD on “Comparative Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation” (Paris, Summer 2017). (Douglas Call, University of Maryland) Thirteen students from various countries attended classes at the Pantheon-Sorbonne. On a limited basis, OECD specialists assisted the students with their projects.

UMD faculty for the course were Douglas Besharov and Douglas Call. Guest faculty were Neil Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley; Jacob Klerman, Abt Associates; David Myers, American Institutes of Research; Anu Rangarajan, Mathematica Policy Research; and David Seidenfeld, American Institutes of Research.

Sorbonne/OECD/UMD on “Systematic Policy Reviews: Introduction and Applications” (Paris, Summer 2018). This is a modification of the 2017 program. The students would be in Paris from June 4 through June 15 (two weeks in early June instead of three weeks in mid-July). While in Paris, students would attend instructional classes, participate in site visits or briefings on various policy issues by organizations in Paris (or nearby), and meet with “clients.”

The client relationship would be the biggest change from this past summer. The central element of the course would be the preparation of systematic reviews on preselected topics. The general policy topics would include employment, health, families and children, social policy, pensions, migration, education, and, perhaps, the environment.

We would like the students to prepare systematic reviews for “clients,” primarily staff of international or multinational organizations, such as the OECD, located in Paris or nearby. The exact nature of the review would be determined in consultation with individual clients. Successful students would receive three master’s level credits from UMD. (Tuition would be approximately $3,500, not including transportation and lodging.)

Action Item: Are any members of the Network interested in helping teach this course? Via video or in person? Can we interest students from network institutions or from elsewhere?


Student and Faculty Exchanges

Tsinghua/UMD on “Policy Analysis in Global Perspective” (Beijing, Summer 2018 or Winter 2019). (Meng Ke, Tsinghua University; and Martin Potucek)

Students would spend three weeks or so in China studying the visible aspects of Chinese policy research and policymaking—as part of a course on more generalized aspects of policy analysis. Prior to their arrival in China, students would participate in a video-linked class to discuss the first steps of a policy analysis (specifying the problem, including its size, extent, scope, and severity, and identifying causes). Students would then be assigned to prepare a memo that applies these first two steps to their topics and, possibly, a preliminary list of policy options for addressing the problem (identified through, for example, a review of the literature, policies of other jurisdictions, or similar programs in other domains).

Students would spend two weeks in classes and visits in Beijing and one week of visits in Xian and Shanghai. The final policy analysis based on the classes and visits as well as individual research would be due sometime after the students return to their home institutions.

Successful students would receive three master’s level credits from UMD. (Tuition would be approximately $3,500, not including transportation and lodging.)

Action item:    Are any members of the Network interested in helping teach this course? Via video or in person? Can we interest students from Network institutions or from elsewhere?


Pew Visiting Scholar Program (Ongoing 2017/2018). (Mark Lopez, Pew Research Center)

The Pew Research Center is co-sponsoring an international visitors program where researchers can visit Pew for a week to learn how it is organized, how research is conducted, and how findings are disseminated. (Although visitors will not be paid, Pew will provide all other facilities.)

Action item:    Contact Mark Lopez for more information.


Fulbright Scholar placements to University of California, Berkeley and University of Maryland (2018/2019, pending application). (Neil Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley; and Douglas Call, University of Maryland.)

Charles University has proposed placing a Fulbright scholar at the University of California, Berkeley in the 2018/2019 academic year. Berkeley and UMD would be delighted to consider hosting additional scholars.

Action item:    Contact Neil Gilbert or Doug Call for more information.


10:50-11:05 Coffee Break


Degree Programs

UMD Master of Professional Studies in Public Administration with a focus on Cross-National Program Management and Evaluation. (Douglas Besharov, University of Maryland)

This one-year graduate program would focus on program management and evaluation. (On campus, classes would be held during the UMD academic year, with optional, off-site courses in August, January, and May/June.)

The academic program would allow students to focus on the management and the policy aspects of domestic and development programs in developed and developing countries. We believe that the program’s cross-national content and partnerships with international universities would be attractive to recent graduates from around the world. We expect that enrollees would come from around the world, and include employees of government agencies as well as NGOs.

During the regular academic year, the UMD campus would be the site of courses, which would include Performance-Based Public Management; Demography, Immigration, and Global Development; and Program Evaluation and Cost-Benefit Analysis. During summer and winter breaks, students could take the above-mentioned courses in Paris, Shanghai, and possibly other locations.

Action item:    Are any members of the Network interested in being guest faculty for this course? Would students from Network institutions be interested in participating?


Executive Education

Executive Education Program in Performance Management and Performance Measurement. (Prajapati Trivedi, India School of Business [video link])

Network member Prajapati Trivedi will discuss developing an executive education program on the performance management and performance measurement of social programs in China, India, and the United States.

Action item:    Are any members of the Network interested in teaching? Or in hosting a similar program?


Policy Seminars

UNED Social Policy Seminar on “Current Issues in Family Policy” (Malaga, May 2017). (Antonio Lopez Pelaez, Universidad Nacional de Education a Distancia)

Under the leadership of Antonio Lopez, participants included Emiko Ochiai and Neil Gilbert together with Professors Joaquin Castillo de Mesa, Maria Jimenez, Elena Martin, and Marta Gaspar and Cheng Huei Hong from Taiwan. 

Action item:    Are any members of the Network interested in participating in a future seminar? Or hosting a similar program?


Pew Briefing Series on “Global Migration and Demographics.” (Mark Lopez, Pew Research Center)

These briefings would be offered by Mark Lopez and others from the Pew Research Center in association with local hosts, including individual Network member universities/institutions. Pew would cover the costs of speakers. (Ongoing, 2018)

Action item:    Are any members of the Network interested in hosting one of the Pew events?







Oxford University Press Publications

Social Program Design and Implementation Evaluation: Unpacking the “Black Box.” Outsider reviews are pending and will be distributed in advance of the meeting.

Action item:    Handbook proposal consideration and approval/disapproval.

Handbooks in Progress

Family Policy:
Neil Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley; Emiko Ochiai, Kyoto University; and Birgit Pfau-Effinger, University of Hamburg

Child Protection:
Jill Berrick, University of California, Berkeley; Neil Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley; and Marit Skivenes, University of Bergen

Global Income Trends:
Douglas Besharov, University of Maryland; Georg Fischer, European Commission; Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Manhattan Institute; Meng Ke, Tsinghua University; and Robert Strauss, European Commission

International Policy Exchanges series


Coffee Break



Collaborative Research

“Youth Policy: Youth Employment and the Future of the Labor Market.” (Mark Lopez, Pew Research Center; Jacqueline O’Reilly, University of Brighton; and Martin Seeleib-Kaiser, Oxford University [video link])

Network members Martin Seeleib-Kaiser of Oxford University and Jacqueline (“Jackie”) O’Reilly of the University of Brighton led a large, multi-year study on youth unemployment commissioned by the European Commission (EC). The resultant report, “Strategic Transitions for Youth Labour in Europe,” will be published by OUP as part of the International Policy Exchange Series. (We are working on a catchier title.) Looking to the future, Mark Lopez, Jackie O’Reilly, and Martin Seeleib-Kaiser will discuss possible follow-up activities, including discussion seminars and other forms of dissemination, as well as additional research.

Action item:    Based on the discussion, decide what further action (if any) Network members might take individually or collectively.

“Comparative Effectiveness of Public Employment Services/Work Force Programs.” (Randall Eberts, Upjohn Institute [video link]; Helmut Mahringer, WIFO [video link]; and Mark Lopez, Pew Research Center)

In the US, UMD is working with the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research to develop a model for determining the comparative effectiveness of state and local jurisdictions in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program. We have met with staff of the European Commission and the OECD and both seem interested in initiating a project in Europe.

Action item:    Would any Network members be interested in being the lead organization for a European effort? Or in participating in one?


Concluding Remarks




Business Dinner

Restaurant TBD, Hosted by Oxford University Press

To view Lisbon Meeting Agenda in PDF version, please click here.