Jeff McManus

Leads the technical design and execution of evaluations at IDinsight, defining quality standards for research at IDinsight and the sector at large.

Jeff McManus is a Senior Economist on the Technical Team at IDinsight, based in San Francisco. Jeff oversees the technical design and analysis of impact evaluations, process evaluations, and machine learning applications at IDinsight. His sectoral areas of focus include education and child nutrition, and his past projects have included the RCT for the world's first development impact bond. Jeff co-founded the Technical Team at IDinsight and served as its Director for 3 years, during which he set the organizational strategy for the technical rigor of the company's portfolio. He continues to mentor and manage evaluation specialists on the Technical Team. He has designed many of IDinsight's internal quality control processes, including a suite of templates and checklists that are used by project teams to improve the quality and efficient production of technical deliverables. Jeff oversees technical training, and he designed and delivers the curriculum for the semi-annual technical 'bootcamp' for new staff.

Prior to joining IDinsight, Jeff was a Research Manager at MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) in India and the US, where he managed data collection and analysis for large-scale impact evaluations of voter education campaigns, and a Research Fellow at Harvard’s Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD).

Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Swarthmore College and an MPA in International Development (MPA/ID) from Harvard Kennedy School. At Harvard Jeff won the annual award for the top thesis in the graduating class and a fellowship for graduate students committed to working in public service careers.

Selected Publications

  • "Can Child-Focused Sanitation and Nutrition Programming Improve Health Practices and Outcomes? Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Kitui County, Kenya" (with Gerishom Gimaiyo, Matt Yarri, Shiva Singh, Andrew Trevett, Grainne Moloney, Ann Robins, and Lilian Lehmann). BMJ Global Health 2019;4:e000973. (article)

  • "Can Machine Learning Double Your Social Impact?" (with Ben Brockman, Andrew Fraker, and Buddy Shah). Stanford Social Innovation Review, February 20, 2019. (article)

  • "The Great DIB-ate: Measurement for Development Impact Bonds" (with Buddy Shah and Kate Sturla). Stanford Social Innovation Review, November 21, 2018. (article)

  • "Are Poor Voters Indifferent to Whether Elected Leaders are Criminal or Corrupt? A Vignette Experiment in Rural India" (with Abhijit Banerjee, Donald P. Green, and Rohini Pande). Political Communication, 31(3): pp. 391-407, August 2014. (ungated)

  • "Can Social Motivators Change Children's Hand-Washing Behavior? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation of a School Hygiene Intervention in the Philippines" (with Qayam Jetha, Clément Bisserbe, Daniel Waldroop, Catie Crowley, Jon Michael Villasenor, Louise Maule, and Lilian Lehmann). (working paper)

  • "Educational Qualifications of Village Leaders in North India: Implications for Public Service Delivery." (working paper)

  • "Can Development Impact Bonds Spur Innovation in Educational Service Delivery? Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial of the First Development Impact Bond" (with Lucas Kitzmüller, Neil Buddy Shah, and Kate Sturla). (working paper)