Drew Koleros is a senior researcher at Mathematica with over 15 years of experience in designing and delivering mixed-methods evaluations and program monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) systems for small- and large-scale social and economic development projects. He brings particular experience and expertise in using theory-based approaches that integrate complex concepts and systems thinking into program and evaluation design processes.
Koleros’ most recent work focuses on providing evaluation and learning services to programs aimed at addressing disparities in social determinants of health and advancing health equity. As project director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s evaluation of its Housing Justice Initiative, he is leading a collaborative process to design and deliver an equity-focused and dignity-based evaluation of the Foundation’s investment in building power among low-income renters, particularly Black and Latina women, to advocate for more just housing policies and practices. As part of the Strategic Assessment of Preemption Work, Koleros designed an innovative ecosystems mapping approach to help the Foundation better understand its contributions to supporting state-level coalitions opposing preemption and to identify strategies to better support coalitions in building community power around preemption in the future. As project director for the Evaluation of Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health, he leads the design of the overall evaluation approach for a portfolio of grants to coalitions of community power-building organizations working to address health equity in their communities.
Koleros has also supported multiple foundations in designing strategy-level theories of change to inform their MEL initiatives. For example, he served as the lead facilitator for developing the theory of change as part of the Family Planning Strategy Refresh for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As principal investigator of the Wisconsin Partnership Program Evaluation, he is facilitating a multi-stakeholder process to develop a comprehensive theory of change to articulate the contribution of the foundation’s investments to advancing health equity in Wisconsin.
Koleros also brings extensive expertise in designing and implementing mixed-methods theory-based evaluations for programs aimed at catalyzing systems change, including agricultural transformation and market systems change. Most recently, he served as the team leader for two long-term impact evaluations of wealth creation programs in Ethiopia funded by the UK Department for International Development; for these evaluations, he conceptualized the mixed-methods theory-based evaluation designs employing contribution analysis.
Koleros holds a master’s degree in public health from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon (2003–2005). Before joining Mathematica, he was the Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation for Palladium’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Office, where he provided overall technical leadership and direction in the design and delivery of evaluations and programs. His work on designing theory-based evaluation approaches has been published in the American Journal of Evaluation, the Canadian Journal of Programme Evaluation, and in multiple practitioner settings. He is a member of the American Evaluation Association, the European Evaluation Society, and the Canadian Evaluation Society.