evaluation design 

We design and execute large- and small-scale studies that address today’s pressing policy questions across multiple program areas, research methods, and locations.

Our strengths include designing and conducting studies of program implementation and effectiveness. We also integrate studies of operations and effects to generate actionable findings for decision makers, develop conceptual frameworks and logic models, and design demonstrations for new initiatives.

We help clients develop and implement designs that provide credible information by focusing on:

  • The research questions the evaluation is trying to answer
  • Designs that could be used to answer the questions, and what each design entails
  • What the structure of the program or policy will support
  • Possible challenges to the research and how to address them effectively

In addition to the case studies at right, examples of our expertise include the following:

  • SNAP Food Security. Estimating the effect of the nation's largest nutrition assistance program on food insecurity using household survey data has been challenging, because households that participate in SNAP can differ in systematic ways from households that do not. The study team used a creative design to measure changes in food security, including a cross-sectional analysis and a longitudinal comparison, to offer the most definitive evidence to date on the program.

  • MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program Learning Partnership. Mathematica is designing and implementing a monitoring, evaluation, and learning results framework design and identifying key learning questions for this program that aims to engender social transformation by developing young leaders whose education and human capital skills contribute to the economic growth and social development.