Mathematica is evaluating the National Science Foundation International Research Experiences for Students program and developing an electronic data system to support prospective monitoring and evaluation.
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To advance progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, changemakers need robust, actionable evidence to guide strategy and identify and scale effective approaches. Mathematica’s International Unit works closely with a range of development partners to uncover and advance solutions that will improve the lives of millions across the globe.
We offer our partners a full range of measurement, evaluation, and learning services. We provide insights to inform strategies and programs, measure progress and effectiveness, and generate and disseminate evidence and learning to advance the field. Our approach is collaborative and flexible. We work together with our clients to ensure our work is responsive to their learning needs and aligned with evolving priorities and changes in the external landscape.
We work in more than 50 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, collaborating with country partners to develop culturally sensitive approaches that reflect a deep understanding of the local context. Our research spans a range of sectors, including education and workforce development; energy and climate; food and agriculture; health and nutrition; social protection; transportation; and water and sanitation. Across these sectors, we have supported our clients to address a range of issues—from improving early grade reading in Latin America and the Caribbean, to increasing productivity and market access for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, to expanding access to quality reproductive health services around the world.
- Theories of change and measurement and learning frameworks. We work side-by-side with clients to refine their theories of change, develop key indicators for measurement, prioritize learning questions, and identify the best data and methods to answer their learning questions. To support program designs and the development of learning agendas, we conduct targeted evidence reviews and landscape scans to examine critical assumptions underlying program strategies and identify areas for further testing and study.
- Data for progress tracking and decision making. We have deep expertise in performance measurement and monitoring, curating and analyzing data from multiple sources and geographies to build coherent stories of progress, impact, and learning. Our visuals, interactive dashboards, and learning syntheses help our partners connect the dots and build a comprehensive story around progress and impact.
- Modeling and real-time analysis to inform program improvement. Our data scientists use statistical modeling, machine learning, natural language processing, GIS mapping, and other techniques to predict and track program outcomes, set targets, and provide actionable insights. We help clients, grantees, and local partners use rapid-cycle evaluations and apply behavioral science principles to refine programs.
- Rigorous research and evaluation. Our evaluation designs are built on creative and innovative uses of data and supported by our sector expertise and deep understanding of the global and local context. To answer our clients’ learning and evaluations questions, we use a wide range of methods—from rigorous impact evaluations to mixed-methods performance assessments to qualitative implementation studies.
- Learning capture and deep dives. We help our partners to capture and synthesize actionable learnings from across grant portfolios and large initiatives. We also conduct targeted case studies and deep dives to explore investments in priority issue areas and focus geographies.
- Leveraging new technologies to open new frontiers in research. We explore opportunities to leverage new data sources and technologies, such as mobile platforms and geospatial data, to reduce data collection costs, streamline reporting, and answer research questions that were once unanswerable.
- Technical assistance and capacity building. We tailor our technical assistance to partners to build their monitoring and evaluation skills and position them to independently implement high quality measurement, evaluation and learning activities.
- Learning products and events. To help our partners make informed choices about programmatic direction, we conduct a variety of evidence translation and learning activities. We develop tailored learning products for diverse audiences that abstract and share relevant evidence in easy-to-digest formats. We have extensive experience conducting structured learning workshops for donors and implementers that help participants reflect on evidence, discuss implications, and develop solutions.
The International Research Experiences for Students Program
Process Evaluation of the WASH for Life Partnership Between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Team and USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures
In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WSH) team partnered with USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures to establish WASH for Life, a $17 million pool of dedicated funding for innovative water, sanitation, and hygiene projects with the potential to scale.
Emilie Bagby specializes in designing and conducting rigorous evaluations in developing countries.Featured Projects
- Niger: Improving the Education of Girls (IMAGINE)
- Niger: Education and Community Strengthening Impact Evaluation
- Faire progresser l’éducation des filles à travers le monde (French version issue brief)
- Child Labor, Schooling, and Child Ability (Working Paper)
- Social Protection