Impact evaluation of private sector participation in education Laura Lewis and Harry Anthony Patrinos The paper gives a high level overview of how impact evaluation can be used in the particular context of government funded privately-provided schools. It also illustrates how more generally impact evaluation can support evidence-based policy-making. In many countries worldwide, there is public disquiet about the outcomes of school education. In response, many innovative approaches are being used to improve the quality of education. One such approach involves non-state organisations in the setting-up and operation of state-funded schools. Typically, such schools have more decision-making power than conventional state schools. Such autonomous schools are expected to have a positive impact on academic performance and the numbers of pupils staying on in education. But since such programmes are likely to be controversial and receive more scrutiny than other education programmes, it is therefore imperative that they be subject to rigorous impact evaluation.