Accueil > Experimenting and scaling up social innovation. The case of a research project “Social mediation against violence in school”

KETU 2100 - Experimenting social innovation in education

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Although not required, knowledge of French can help, since some sources that can be useful for group works are only available in French. A very basic knowledge of quantitative methods for impact evaluation can also help. Group will be formed to balance the different assets of students

Course Description

The case study is inspired by a social experiment implemented in France between 2012 and 2014, to prevent violence and bullying in school. The main goal is to get students to think about the process of scaling up social innovations, to grasp the role of social innovation in public policy design and the potential of field experiment as a powerful policy tool. The case study will also cover the different kinds of challenges social experiments may face and, more broadly, the challenges of bringing public policy to scale. Lastly, and most importantly, it will also provide an illustration of what rigorous impact evaluation is.


CHARPENTIER, Axelle C. (Project Manager - Department of Economics, Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

Sessions will combine both in-class exercises involving groups and, where appropriate, teacher presentations. Students will work in groups of 4 people. Each group will be assigned to play different roles of key actors involved in the social experiment. They will have to prepare or discuss questions related to the program implementation and/or its evaluation.

Course validation

Students will be assessed on the basis of two group works (50%), an individual final essay (40%) and student's participation (10%).


Students are expected to do all the assigned readings prior to each session. Students work in groups to prepare the assigned tasks for the next session (literature review, preparation of background/argumentative notes, policy recommendations, simulation exercises involving different key partners, etc.).

Required reading

  • Banerjee, Abhijit, Rukmini Banerji, James Berry, Esther Duflo, Harini Kannan, Shobhini Mukerji, Marc Shotland, and Michael Walton. 2017. "From Proof of Concept to Scalable Policies: Challenges and Solutions, with an Application." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31 (4): 73-102.
  • Karthik Muralidharan & Paul Niehaus, 2017. "Experimentation at Scale," Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol 31(4), pages 103-124.
  • Bradach, J., “Going to Scale. The Challenge of Replicating Social Programs”, The Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2003.
  • Seelos, C. & J. Mair, “Innovation Is Not the Holy Grail”, The Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2012.
  • European Commission, Guide to Social Innovation, 2013.