Anne-Marie Baan is one of our current cohort of MSc Evidence Based Intervention and Policy Evaluation students. With a background working for UNICEF and Oxfam, Anne-Marie brings fascinating experience from the field. We caught up with her this week to find out more about why she came to Oxford, and how she is developing her expertise.
You’ve got a background in working with NGOs – what made you decide to do the MSc in Evidence-Based Intervention and Policy Evaluation at this stage in your career?
Having worked in a number of different roles in the Middle East and Africa during the past 10 years, I was keen to take a step away from work practice and reconnect with academia. My professional experience is in monitoring & evaluation of humanitarian and development programmes, and I wanted to compliment this with a solid theoretical grounding in policy analysis and policy evaluation. While I took some courses and did self-directed learning, I felt it would be quite challenging to free up enough time and space for further specialization while working full-time. The MSc in EBSIPE appealed to me because of its coherence and specific focus on policy evaluation.
How are you finding the course so far?
I am really enjoying the course and feel it is the right fit for me. So far, the courses on social policy analysis and quantitative methods I found particularly useful. Additionally, I have benefitted from the shared frameworks and tools to assess and improve research and evaluation designs. I did my previous Master in Development Studies without having prior work experience, and I really feel there is great value in being back in university. Being in Oxford allows me to reflect on the challenges in evidence-informed policy and practice, and to approach issues from an academic point of view.
And what do you hope to do after you complete your MSc?
Upon completion, I intend to return to working in monitoring and evaluation, or social and policy research more broadly. At the moment I am orienting myself on potential positions in the UK and The Netherlands. The option courses and dissertation also provide a good opportunity to further explore topics of interest that can further guide my next steps. I am looking forward to applying all I have learned in practice!