Use and Misuse of Data for Policy Challenges

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Course Number: 
GAFL 5900

Course Section:



  • MPA

Course Type: 

  • Elective



  • Fall 2022

Course Format:

On-Campus Day(s): 
On-Campus Time: 
5:15 - 8:15 p.m.

On-Campus Location:

Course Description: 

"Data-Driven Policy Making" has become a popular phrase, but what does it actually mean and how can aspiring policy-makers meet its lofty goals? This class will help students understand how data of all sorts (administrative, observational, experimental, "big") can be used to shed light on various policy issues. To do this, the class teaches students a set of computational tools (centered on the R statistical programming language), and shows them how to gather, analyze, and present data in useful ways. It does so by working through a number of important policy issues, including policing, campaign finance, public health, political polling, and many others. No prior statistical or technical knowledge is assumed, though basic statistical literacy is helpful. This class was previously called "Using Big Data for Policy Challenges."

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326