This conference is chaired by John Gerring, Department of Political Science, Boston University; Macartan Humphreys, Department of Political Science, Columbia University; Devra Moehler, Department of Government, Cornell University; and Jeremy Weinstein, Department of Political Science, Stanford University. This conference is sponsored by the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies; Kirk Radke, funder of the Clinton Global Initiative at Boston University; and the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University. This conference will consider recent and potential applications of randomized interventions to understanding institutional outcomes, with a special emphasis on institutions of relevance to governance in the developing world. What studies of this nature have been conducted to date? How successful have they been? What are the prospects for future or ongoing studies? More generally, what is the growth potential of this mode of analysis? Within this broad rubric, five classes of questions will be given special consideration at this conference. First, how can the subject of governance, which tends to be holistic and all-encompassing, be operationalized in such a way that it becomes amenable to scientific study? Second, what is an appropriate “treatment”? Third, where randomization is not possible, is there a good or even a semi-decent alternative? Fourth, what are some of the practical obstacles to this sort of work in the developing world? Finally, what are the prospects for experimental methods in the area of program evaluation?