About CPIA

The Problem

There is increasing demand for professionals who understand how to conduct careful and rigorous evaluations of projects. There is an increased demand for accountability by donors and other stakeholders. It is no longer enough to implement a project. Organizations are increasingly required to provide evidence of impact.

The CPIA program provides professionals with a thorough introduction to impact evaluation across the lifecycle of a project. The courses provide individuals who are involved in identifying, design, financing, implementing, monitoring, or evaluating social interventions, public policies, or international development projects, with the knowledge necessary to oversee evaluations of projects, from conception through completion. It provides consultants and analysts with the knowledge as to how their work fits in the bigger picture of a project’s life cycle. It provides financial professionals with the knowledge needed to take advantage of new funding opportunities in the social sector, including pay for performance and impact bonds.

  • Understanding evaluation across the project cycle
  • Access to innovative financing mechanisms
  • Accountability to donors
  • Transparency to the public
  • Application of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis

The Courses

The CPIA program offers three courses:

  • Discover Impact. Learn how to identify, define, and value sources of impact.
  • Finance Impact. Learn about project finance and how to enter the world of results-based financing and impact investing.
  • Measure Impact. Learn how to rigorously collect evidence and analyze data. 


    We welcome participants of different academic and professional backgrounds. The courses are designed so that individuals at any level of an NGO, foundation, international development or finance institution, or municipal and local government will advance their knowledge of impact evaluation.

    Basic microeconomic and statistics foundations are an asset however we include optional boot-camp sessions immediately before courses to ensure all participants have comparable foundations.

    Participants who successfully complete the three courses Discover Impact, Finance Impact, and Measure Impact and pass the CPIA certification exam, are eligible to become Certified Professional Impact Analysts. Participants can choose their own path to their CPIA, and start with the course that matters most to them.  

    Who Benefits

    Organization Leader - Promote the use of evidence in future strategies and ensure that your program team applies the correct, industry-standard impact measurement techniques across the project cycle. Improve your ability to maximize your organization’s impact and improve accountability to the public and donors. The program also provides a thorough introduction to the use of impact bonds and other performance-based financing opportunities.

    Project Manager & Project Staff - Learn how careful analysis can improve projects by informing decisions at all stages of a project cycle, from initial feasibility assessments during design and financing, to performance monitoring and impact analyses following implementation. The course will highlight how the various stages of the project are tied together and inform one another, as well as how to identify appropriate analytical approaches such as CBA, RCTs, and various quasi-experimental techniques.

    Technical or Subject Matter Expert - Learn how your area of expertise–whether it is economic analysis, M&E, health, nutrition, education, or engineering– depends on, and relates to, other analytical efforts and stages of the project cycle. You will also learn about the state-of-the-art techniques in your technical area, and how to apply your knowledge for the evaluation of projects funding through impact bonds or other pay-for-results financing.

    Impact Investor - Interested in financing impact? The courses can help you acquire the skills needed to properly assess, track, and report on the impact of your capital.

    Finance Officer - Identify and structure financing arrangements that ensure the social and institutional sustainability of projects and policies, and how to assess the quality of evidence regarding impact. In addition, you will learn how to take advantage of and structure innovative financing mechanisms such as results-based financing and impact bonds.

    Social Entrepreneur or Donor - Identify and measure the causal impact of your programs, and how to assess the quality of existing evidence regarding impact. To what extent can observed changes in outcomes be attributed to a project or policy? The program also explores how evidence can be used to increase impact by optimizing program design, and how one can take advantage of results-based financing arrangements.

    Public Servant - Learn about the leading tools and techniques for identification, design, financing, performance management, and evaluation of programs that make meaningful and sustainable impact on the society. Integrate evidence-based decision making into your department or organization, and improve its efficiency. The program also explores how governments may benefit from using impact bonds and other results-based financing opportunities to decrease the risks associated with public-sector projects.

    Application Process

    Online application

    Use the website to submit your application. You can apply on behalf of other participants and/or apply to multiple courses at the same time. If you choose wire transfer as your method of payment, you will be emailed an invoice with wire transfer instructions.

    Review and notification

    The University will review the application for admission within 10 business days. In this period you may be contacted for additional information about the participants and source of funding. Once approved, you will be notified by email.

    Payment and admission 

    The University will verify the payment process and issue the official admission documents once the fees are paid.

    Accessibility Statement

    CPIA @ Queen’s University is committed to the full inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities. Accordingly, we will take steps to facilitate the identification, removal, and prevention of barriers to persons with disabilities to ensure access to Queen’s University goods, services, facilities, accommodation, buildings, structures, and premises. Our commitment to achieving full accessibility for persons with disabilities also includes arranging academic accommodations for students with disabilities to ensure they have an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic activities.

    To read more about Queen’s University’s accessibility policies please visit https://www.queensu.ca/secretariat/policies/administration-and-operations/accessibility-policy